Men’s distance events: Norway’s INGEBRIGTSEN trio seek a sibling sweep of medals
BERLIN - Norway’s three INGEBRIGTSEN brothers are looking to sweep the medals in the men’s 1500m at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships.
Filip and Henrik INGEBRIGTSEN won gold and bronze respectively at the 2016 European championships and in Berlin they will be joined in the national senior team for the first time by their younger brother, Jakob.
Filip was third at the world championships in London last year, and he broke Henrik’s national 1500m record with a Europe-leading 3 minutes 30.01 seconds at the Monaco Diamond League meeting this year. In the same race, 17-year-old Jakob sliced more than four seconds from the long-standing European under 20 record with 3:31.18.
Jakob also picked up two medals at this year’s world under 20 championships in Tampere, Finland - a silver in the 1500m and bronze in the 5000m. His 5000m time of 13:20.78 beat the 39-year-old European under 20 record by seven seconds.
Henrik has reached the podium at the last three European championships - winning gold in 2012, silver in 2014 and bronze in 2016 - although he is ranked only ninth in Europe this year.
Training partners Jakub HOLUSA (CZE) and Marcin LEWANDOWSKI (POL), the 2015 and 2017 European indoor champions respectively, are renowned for their finishing speed and will be among the medal contenders.
Great Britain also have a strong pair in Chris O’HARE (GBR) and Jake WIGHTMAN (GBR).
The 5000m and 10,000m are both wide open following the retirement from track racing of Britain’s two-time double Olympic champion Mo FARAH, who won European distance doubles in 2010 and 2014, as well as the 5000m title in 2012.
Henrik INGEBRIGTSEN leads this year’s European lists in the 5000m and he will again be joined by his brothers in that event.
European under 23 champion, Yemaneberhan CRIPPA (ITA), and European indoor 3000m champion Adel MECHAAL (ESP), will be contenders in both events, while host nation Germany’s hopes rest on Richard RINGER in the 10,000m.
RINGER won the European Cup 10,000m in London in May in a European-leading time of 27:36.52 when he defeated Frenchman Mourad AMDOUNI in a sprint finish.
Reigning champion Polat KEMBOI ARIKAN is part of a strong Turkish triumvirate that includes European cross country champion Kaan Kigen OZBILEN.
The 800m should be a battle involving world champion Pierre-Ambroise BOSSE of France, Saul ORDONEZ, who improved the Spanish record this year to 1:43.65, and Poland’s Adam KSZCZOT, the European indoor and outdoor champion, who won world silver last year.
France will also have hopes in the 3000m steeplechase in which Mahiedine MEKHISSI-BENABBAD is targeting a fourth title. Now 33, MEKHISSI- BENABBAD is the fastest in Europe this year.
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