WCH Oregon22 preview men’s 1500m - Ingebrigtsen seeks first world title
Kipsang, Tefera, Wightman, Kerr and defending champion Cheruiyot look to challenge the talented, young Norwegian
By Cathal Dennehy for World Athletics
At the age of 21, Jakob Ingebrigtsen has very nearly done it all. He’s won European titles, an Olympic gold medal and, earlier this year, he became the fastest indoor 1500m runner of all-time, clocking 3:30.60 in Lievin.
But there remains one gaping hole on the Norwegian star’s CV: he has yet to win a medal at the World Athletics Championships. But it will come as a huge shock if he doesn’t fill that void when the men’s 1500m final takes place on Tuesday, July 19.
Ingebrigtsen said he will “for sure” double over 1500m and 5000m in Eugene and his favorite event is up first, where he will seek to avenge his defeat at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade earlier this year. Ingebrigtsen was the overwhelming favorite for that 1500m title, but in the end he had no response to the final surge from Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera, who took gold in 3:32.77.
“I didn’t feel that great,” he said after the race, and it was only when he returned home and tested positive for COVID-19 that he came to realize why. Ingebrigtsen has been unbeaten since, though, winning in facile fashion over a Mile in Eugene (3:49.76) before clocking 3:46.46 in Oslo.
However, a long line of challengers are taking aim at his throne.
Chief among them is Kenya’s Abel Kipsang, who was fourth in the Olympic final last year but who has turned in a string of displays this year that suggest the 25-year-old Kenyan is ready to claim his first global medal at an outdoor championship. He earned bronze behind Tefera and Ingebrigtsen in Belgrade and finished fourth behind the Norwegian over a Mile in Eugene in May. His season’s best of 3:31.01 was run at altitude in Nairobi in May, and at the Kenyan Trials last month he took victory over world champion Timothy Cheruiyot in 3:34.55.
Cheruiyot has yet to recover his best form, but the Olympic silver medalist finished third over a Mile in Eugene and he has the championship pedigree to navigate the rounds and again contend for a medal.
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