Teen star Ingebrigtsen has track rivals in his sights

AFP
July 21, 2019

In a thrilling battle at the Diamond League event, Ethiopia´s Hagos Gebrhiwet held off a charging Ingebrigtsen during the final lap to squeeze home by just 0.17sec.

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LONDON: Teen track sensation Jakob Ingebrigtsen fired a warning to his older rivals after setting a new Norwegian national record in the 5000 metres at the London Anniversary Games on Saturday.

In a thrilling battle at the Diamond League event, Ethiopia´s Hagos Gebrhiwet held off a charging Ingebrigtsen during the final lap to squeeze home by just 0.17sec.

Ingebrigtsen, who won European gold over 1500m and 5000m last year, ran 13:02.03 -- a new national record.

Gebrhiwet, who has run the third-fastest time so far this year over the distance, admitted he had been pushed hard by the confident 18-year-old.

"I´m in my own bubble before the race and also in the race," said Ingebrigtsen. "I don´t consider anyone better than me until it´s proven.

"I wanted to run faster. It´s a great race for me and also to be able to compete against the very best. (Hagos) is a fast guy and really experienced but I´m new to the game at this level. Hopefully I´ll be running even faster in the future."

When it was put to him that many athletes already felt beaten when they lined up against the powerful Africans, he said: "That´s the stupidest thing I´ve ever heard.... If you want to be the best you have to consider yourself the best.

"I´m not the best yet. I´m still improving and I know I´m able, if I do the work that needs to be done in the next couple of years, I know I´m going to be faster."

Ingebrigtsen downplayed his chances of winning a gold medal at the world championships in Doha, which begin in late September.

"I´m still 18 and Doha will be my first world championship. The other guys are really experienced but they´re slowing down while I´m on my way upwards."


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