Jakob Ingebrigtsen set to defend U20 title in Tilburg

Jakob Ingebrigtsen
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Jakob Ingebrigtsen is planning to defend his U20 title at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg on 9 December

Jakob Ingebrigtsen won the 1500m and 5000m titles at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships but the 18-year-old has plans to defend his U20 title at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg on 9 December.

Ingebrigtsen is unbeaten at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships. Despite being the second youngest entrant in the race, the Norwegian won his first U20 title in Chia in 2016 by eight seconds, collapsing across the finish-line caused by the hot and humid conditions.

The tactics and the conditions differed in Samorin last December but the outcome was the same as Ingebrigtsen utilised his sprint finish to defend his U20 title by two seconds. Ingebrigtsen will be looking for a hat-trick of titles in Tilburg in December, and a fourth could beckon in Lisbon next year. "I have a goal of taking four golds at U20 level, that would be cool," he told NRK.

Jakob will travel to Flagstaff, Arizona with older brothers Henrik and Filip for a stint of altitude training ahead of Tilburg. On Jakob’s racing plans, Henrik said in jest: "If I had been Jakob and had been allowed, I'd run both junior and senior."

While Henrik and Filip finished first and second in the Hytteplanmila 10K, Jakob had to sit on the sidelines due to a cold but he is hungry to resume training. "It's a bit odd, you tend to be a little tired after a long season. But after a couple of weeks, I'm more motivated and ready than I've ever been," he said.