A year after announcing himself on the senior stage by becoming the youngest athlete to break four minutes for the mile, Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen took his teenage career to another extraordinary level on the same Hayward Field track in Eugene on Saturday.
Now 17, Ingebrigtsen ran a remarkable 3:52.28. He was just one-tenth behind Kenya’s Elijah Manangoi, the world champion from London last summer, as his teammate Timothy Cheruiyot, won in 3:49.87 from Ethiopia’s world indoor champion in Samuel Tefera in 3:51.26.
Tefera himself is only 18 but just over a year younger, Ingebrigtsen is ripping up the record books as he showed his amazing progression over the middle distances. With his time of 3:52.28, Ingebrigtsen - who covered the last lap in 55.42 - lopped nearly one second off Graham Williamson’s 39-year-old European U20 record of 3:53.15.
And as he celebrated this latest brilliant performance, Ingebrigtsen revealed how his training set-up with his two brothers - Henrik and Filip - plays such an important part in taking him to this position.
“I usually train with two of the best 1500m runners in the world – my two brothers. I am always a couple of metres behind them but now I am taking a new step with the best guys,” said Jakob, who is also coached by his father Gjert.
“Before the race, there was a lot of nerves but I was really looking forward to it. The crowd here is amazing. I was not quite expecting the race to be that fast. I felt I had a lot to give on the last lap and felt really good coming into the home stretch. My goal was to take Alan Webb’s record,” said Jakob, who ran faster than Webb’s US high school record of 3:53.43.
But just how far he has come was shown when Manangoi was alongside him. “When I saw him, I said ‘wow’, it is a dream come true to race some of the best guys in the world.”
Sub-four for Muir on her season’s debut
In the week she officially qualified to become a vet, Great Britain’s Laura Muir is now able to concentrate solely on the summer ahead.
And her countdown to the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships began in earnest with a fine run in Eugene as she finished second in the 1500m in 3:59.30 as American Shelby Houlihan won in a sizeable lifetime best of 3:59.06.
“Really happy with my first race of the season...fastest ever opener! After a tiring few weeks with exams, excited for the rest of the season,” she tweeted.
Entering the shot put with a personal best of 21.88m, Poland’s Michal Haratyk will now be eyeing European gold after the best performance of his career.
The European silver medallist from Amsterdam was second here with a brilliant 21.97m, eclipsing former two-time Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski’s national outdoor record by two centimetres.
Haratyk also had three more throws over 21 metres – 21.09m, 21.50m and 21.35m – in his first three efforts of a competition which was won by American Ryan Crouser who extended his meeting record to 22.53m in the fifth round.