Ingebrigtsen opens indoor season with a record-breaking 1500m in Baerum

Jakob Ingebrigtsen
Getty Images

European 1500m and 5000m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen opened his campaign with a 3:36.21 1500m clocking at the Nordenkampen in Baerum

Jakob Ingebrigtsen closed his 2018 season by creating history with an unprecedented third successive U20 title at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg and he opened his 2019 account with yet another record-breaking performance.

Fresh from a month-long training stint at altitude in Dullstroom in South Africa, Ingebrigtsen won maximum points for Norway at the Nordenkampen on home soil in Baerum, comfortably winning the 1500m in 3:36.21 against Sweden, Finland and a combined team from Denmark and Iceland.

Not only was his time a European lead with the Glasgow 2019 European Indoor Athletics Championships three weeks away, Ingebrigtsen also smashed his European indoor U20 record of 3:40.96 and older brother Henrik’s four year old national indoor record of 3:39.70.

Jakob’s time was also the second fastest ever by a junior indoors after world indoor champion Samuel Tefera from Ethiopia clocked 3:36.05 last year. This time could be a target for Jakob when he lines up at the PSD Bank Meeting in Dusseldorf on 20 February.

Filip Ingebrigtsen was also in action yesterday and the recently crowned European cross country champion won the men’s 3000m in 7:49.73. All three Ingebrigtsens are targeting the European Indoor Championships but their racing schedules still haven’t been finalised.

There was another national record in the women’s 3000m as Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal broke one of the longest standing marks on the books. Grovdal clocked a solo 8:44.68 to better Ingrid Kristiansen’s previous mark of 8:50.26 which had stood since 1985 - the year in which Kristiansen also set a world marathon record of 2:21:06.

Karsten Warholm just missed his national indoor record by less than one-tenth in the 400m but he powered to another popular victory in 45.65 to win by more than one second. The world and European 400m hurdles champion remains the only European to have broken the 46 second-barrier indoors this season.

Despite these standout Norwegian performances, Sweden won both the men’s and women’s matches. Michaela Meijer cleared an outright national record of 4.75m in the women’s pole vault while teammate Melker Svard Jacobsson improved his lifetime best to 5.82m to win the men’s pole vault ahead of European U18 champion Pal Haugen Lillefosse who set a Norwegian U20 record of 5.56m.

Muir powers to British indoor 3000m title in Birmingham

Laura Muir produced a blistering turn of pace to defend her 3000m title at the SPAR British Indoor Championships in Birmingham on Saturday.

Muir waited until the last two laps before making her move and the 25-year-old produced a scintillating acceleration, covering the last 400m in 56.9 and the last 200m in 28.02 to win the 3000m in 8:48.03.

Muir was initially planning to defend just one of her two titles at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow next month but such is her shape and lured by the attraction of a home championships, the 25-year-old told reporters that she hasn’t ruled out attempting another 1500/3000m double.

“The timetable isn’t perfect but it works. It’s Glasgow, I’m fit, I’m not getting injuries so we might as well make the most of it,” she said.

Fellow European indoor champion Asha Philip also booked her place on the team for Glasgow after winning her sixth British indoor 60m title in 7.19 by 0.01 ahead of Rachel Miller.

Another standout performance came from former European indoor champion Holly Bradshaw who opened her season by clearing 4.80m in the pole vault while 2015 European indoor champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson readied herself for an assault on the pentathlon title in Glasgow by winning the long jump with 6.46m and finishing second in the 60m hurdles in 8.27.

German records for Klosterhalfen and Gierisch

Laura Muir’s closest rival at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow next month is likely to be the athlete who tracked Muir to silver in the 1500m at the 2017 European Indoor Championships.

That athlete was Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen who is back in record-breaking shape after an injury-plagued 2018 season. Klosterhalfen won the mile at the NYRR Millrose Games in New York on Saturday, clocking a national record of 4:19.98 to move to fifth on the world indoor all-time lists.

Klosterhalfen was also clocked at a European-leading time of 4:02.70 for 1500m en route which bettered Brigitte Kraus’ German record of 4:03.64 dating back to the 1985 European Indoor Championships.

Reigning European indoor champion Kristin Gierisch also rewrote the record books in the triple jump in Chemnitz on Sunday. Gierisch hit the sand at 14.59m which surpassed both Katja Demut’s German indoor record of 14.47m and was also further than her outdoor mark of 14.57m.