Advertisement

Norwegian delight as Ingebrigtsen thrills at Oslo Diamond League

Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen reacts after winning the men's 1500m at the Oslo Diamond League (Heiko Junge)
Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen reacts after winning the men's 1500m at the Oslo Diamond League (Heiko Junge)

Jakob Ingebrigtsen ensured a raucous end to a thrilling Diamond League meeting in front of his home fans in Oslo by hurling himself over the line to snatch victory in the men's 1500m.

A more dramatic finish to the thrilling schedule could not have been better scripted on a night of shocks that saw five other reigning Olympic champions -- including Ingebrigtsen's Norwegian teammate Karsten Warholm -- upstaged.

For Ingebrigtsen, beaten over a mile last week by world 1500m champion Josh Kerr, the victory was the perfect tonic with the Paris Olympics now just two months away.

"That was a sprint-off," said the Norwegian who will target the 1500/5,000m double in the French capital.

"Every day I feel better and better. And defending the titles at the Europeans and Olympics? I think yes."

While Ingebrigtsen's dive for the line, bounce back to his feet and his subsequent crouch into a boxer's pose throwing punches might grab the headlines, the performance of the night undoubtedly went to Ethiopia's Hagos Gebrhiwet, who clocked the second fastest time ever in the men's 5,000m.

Total Norwegian delight was denied by the 2022 world champion Alison Dos Santos, who timed 46.63sec to win the men's 400m hurdles.

He seized his opportunity as Warholm clipped the final hurdle, a slight stumble handing the Brazilian just enough track to scramble to the line 0.07sec ahead.

There was also disappointment for fellow Olympic champions Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, Italian Marcell Jacobs, Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei and Sweden's Daniel Stahl.

It was American Brittany Brown who claimed victory in the women's 200m in 22.32sec as two-time world gold medallist Jackson laboured across the line in fifth in 22.97sec.

With just 57 days and counting to the Paris Games and the Jamaican trials to negotiate, there will be some concern for Jackson as she clocked her slowest time over the 200m since heats at the Tokyo Games.

Jackson, who told AFP Wednesday that she was working with her coach Stephen Francis to lose some weight after a delayed debut to her season, looked sluggish off the bend and finished well off the pace.

South African Akani Simbine dipped for victory in a season's best 9.94sec in the men's 100m, with Jacobs also never in the running for the win.

- Imperious Gebrhiwet over 5K -

Cheptegei, meanwhile, was upstaged by the imperious Gebrhiwet at Oslo's famed Bislett Stadium.

The race more than lived up to its promise to be a fast one as Gebrhiwet smashed the meet record for victory in an Ethiopian record of 12:36.73, the second fastest time ever run.

Teammate Yomif Kejelcha came second as a further five national records were set among the next 11 across the line in a sensational race. World record holder Cheptegei finished ninth, a full 15sec off the pace.

"The time I achieved is very nice," said the 30-year-old Gebrhiwet, who made the 5,000m podium at the 2016 Rio Olympics and world championships in 2013 and 2015.

"The conditions and the crowd were great and it was a very fast race, not easy for me but it was going very well."

The sixth Olympic champion to come a cropper was Stahl, who finished third in a discus competition won by Lithuania's world record holder Mykolas Alekna, who beat his father Virgilijus' meet record from 2007 with a winning best of 70.91m.

World champions Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic and Burkina Faso's Fabrice Hugues Zango, however, claimed victories in the women's 400m and men's triple jump (17.27m).

Paulino clocked a season's best 49.30sec to win the women's one-lap race and extend her winning streak to nine dating back to her gold medal-winning performance at the Budapest worlds.

For the European athletes in action, the victories were the perfect tonic as they head towards their continental championships in Rome from June 7-12, with one more Diamond League squeezed in before that, in Stockholm on Sunday.

The men's 400m went the way of reigning two-time European champion Matthew Hudson-Smith, the Briton bettering his own European record by 0.19sec to clock 44.07sec to win ahead of Grenada's Kirani James, who has a gold, silver and bronze from the last three Olympics.

"I wasn't sure what shape I was in and the time didn't matter in a way as I care about victories rather than times and preparing for the Olympics," said Hudson-Smith.

"I really want to come away from Paris with a medal. With the Europeans so close I will probably have to be back to training tomorrow!"

lp/ea/nf