Ingebrigtsens set to dominate the 1500m and 5000m in Berlin?

Filip Ingebrigtsen
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Filip, Henrik and Jakob Ingebrigtsen will be contesting both the 1500m and 5000m at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships

Filip and Henrik Ingebrigtsen both made the podium in the 1500m at the 2016 European Championships in Amsterdam and they will be joined on the Norwegian team for the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships by their precocious younger brother Jakob.

This will be the first time all three Ingebrigtsen brothers will be together on the same team for a major championships and they will all travel to the German capital with sizeable medal aspirations.

Reigning European champion and world bronze medallist Filip broke Henrik’s Norwegian 1500m record with a European-leading 3:30.01 in the Monaco Diamond League while 17-year-old Jakob also ducked under Henrik’s now-beaten record with 3:31.18, breaking the long-standing European U20 record by more than four seconds in the process.

Jakob’s performance came off the back of a demanding schedule at the World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland where he picked up a silver medal in the 1500m and bronze in the 5000m. His time in the 5000m final of 13:20.78 improved the 39-year-old European U20 record by seven seconds.

 

There will undoubtedly be talk of an all-Ingebrigtsen podium in Berlin. Henrik has indeed reached the podium at the last three European Championships - gold in 2012, silver in 2014, bronze in 2016 - although he is only ninth on the 2018 European lists with 3:35.61.

Training partners Jakub Holusa from the Czech Republic and Marcin Lewandowski from Poland, the 2015 and 2017 European indoor champions, are also among the medal favourites and are both renowned for their finishing speed which will come in handy in a championship environment. The Brits have named a strong trio including Chris O’Hare and Jake Wightman.

However, Henrik does lead the 2018 European lists in the 5000m with 13:16.97. He will be joined again by brothers Jakob and Filip, the latter securing the qualifying time with 13:30.48 less than 24 hours after posting his 3:30.01 1500m in Monaco.

The 5000m and 10,000m have been dominated over the last decade by Mo Farah who took long distance doubles in 2010 and 2014, as well as the 5000m title in 2012. The Brit is now retired from the track and both events have been cast wide open in his absence.

As well as the Ingebrigtsens, other contenders in the 5000m include the rapidly improving and fast finishing European U23 champion Yemaneberhan Crippa from Italy and European indoor 3000m champion Adel Mechaal from Spain who just missed out on a medal in the 1500m at the IAAF World Championships last August. Both Crippa and Mechaal are contesting both the 5000m and 10,000m at the European Championships.

There could be home success in the 10,000m courtesy of Richard Ringer. The German won the European 10,000m Cup in London in May in a European-leading time of 27:36.52 in a sprint finish from Mourad Amdouni from France in 27:36.80. Crippa and Mechaal were third and fourth respectively as seven athletes broke the 28-minute mark.

 

Reigning champion Polat Kemboi Arikan has also broken the 28 minute-barrier in 2018. He is part of a strong Turkish triumvirate which also includes reigning European cross country champion Kaan Kigen Ozbilen and Aras Kaya who won a silver medal in the 3000m steeplechase in Amsterdam 2016.  

Pierre-Ambroise Bosse was the surprise winner of the world 800m title and he is rounding into form at just the right time, setting a season’s best of 1:44.20 in his last race before Berlin in Monaco. However, the leading European finisher in that race in third was Saul Ordonez who improved the Spanish record to 1:43.65. He also won a bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham in March.

The winner of that title was Adam Kszczot from Poland who has an enviable record in major championships. He is the reigning European indoor and outdoor champion at this distance and won a silver medal behind Bosse at the World Championships last year.

There is likely to be more French success in the 3000m steeplechase as Mahiedine Mekhissi is the favourite for his fourth title since 2010. Now 33, Mekhissi - also a three-time Olympic medallist - leads the 2018 European lists with 8:16.97. He will also make his championship debut in the 5000m in Berlin.