Ingebrigtsen reigns supreme in Istanbul


Norwegian completes the ‘double double’ at the European Indoor Champs with 3000m victory, while Kevin Mayer and Miltos Tentoglou were among the men’s winners on the final day in Istanbul

Jakob Ingebrigtsen is the Olympic 1500m champion and world 5000m champion but if he has a sweet spot then it could be the 3000m right now. The 22-year-old had to work hard to hold off the challenge of Neil Gourley in the 1500m final on Friday night but on Sunday evening he seemed a lot more in control as he eased away from Adel Mechaal of Spain on the last lap to win in 7:40.32.

Unusually this was a Norwegian record even though he looked like he was cruising. Everyone else was struggling behind him, though, as he spent most of the race controlling the pace from the front.

The race unfolded slowly with a 66sec first lap but Ingebrigtsen went through 1000m in 2:41.94, then halfway in 3:59.73. The 2000m mark was passed in 5:15.45 and after winding up the pace Ingebrigtsen ran a 55sec final 400m to take the title by a second-and-a-half from Mechaal.

“It was a feeling like I raced myself today,” said Ingebrigtsen, who swapped the striking pink Nike spikes he wore earlier in the championships to white ones for this final. “Maybe it was expected. I would love to get some more competitions but maybe that is just me, expecting too much, I am not sure.”

This means Ingebrigtsen completed the same 1500m and 3000m double that he did in Torun two years ago and he now has five European indoor gold medals.

Elzan Bibic of Servia took bronze with Darragh McElhinney of Ireland placing a fine fourth in a PB of 7:44.72 although the 22-year-old was in tears after the race after coming so close to the podium.

Behind, British duo James West and Jack Rowe were eighth and ninth in 7:48.22 and 7:48.32 respectively.

Ingebrigtsen added: “I am not happy with my indoor season. Not at all. I was not doing anything, really. I had a good October and November and December going to the cross country championships. After that, I have not been doing nothing. But the last couple of weeks have been good. I am really looking forward to getting some good training.”

An uber-tactical and scrappy 800m race saw one Ben beat another as the fast-finishing Adrian Ben of Spain pipped Benjamin Robert of France on the line in 1:47.34 with both men given the same time and the Spaniard winning by eight thousandths of a second.

Adrian Ben pips Benjamin Robert (Getty)

Elliot Crestan of Belgium was fourth with Britain’s Guy Learmonth in a great position early on in the race but he later struggled after Crestan accidentally pushed him in the back, with the Briton losing his momentum and eventually finishing sixth in 1:48.46.

“This is the European Championships, the level is very high so it is hard,” said the winner, “but I pushed with my legs, my arms, my head… I gave all the power.”

Jason Joseph won the men’s 60m hurdles for Switzerland in 7.41 as David King of Britain was seventh in 7.71, but the race was marred by a nasty looking injury to Enrique Llopis.

Jason Joseph (Getty)

The Spanish athlete hit one of the hurdles and fell heavily on his head. Medics rushed into help and with white barriers placed around the scene for his privacy. He was taken to hospital and fellow athletes and spectators were all hoping his injuries are not too serious.

In the heptathlon Kevin Mayer won his third heptathlon title at these championships with 6348 points as Sander Skotheim proved his closest rival with a French record of 6318 for silver.

The Frenchman’s marks were 60m 6.85m, long jump, 7.41m, shot 15.81m, high jump 1.98m, 60m hurdles 7.76, pole vault 5.30m and 1000m 2:44.20 as he took the title.

Kevin Mayer (Getty)

Mayer put his victory down to getting some better sleep the night before his second day of competition, plus being inspired by watching Nafi Thiam’s world record in the pentathlon.

“It was so great to finish with a gold medal,” he said. “This victory was a harder one because I was not in a good mood after the first day.”

In the absence of Mondo Duplantis, the pole vault saw four men jump 5.80m with Sondre Guttormsen of Norway winning on countback.

Emmanouil Karalis of Greece and Piotr Lisek of Poland shared silver with Torben Blech of Germany just missing out on a podium place.

Earlier in the day Miltos Tentoglou added to his growing string of long titles by taking his third European indoor crown with 8.30m. The Greek athlete also won this title in 2019 and 2021 and is the reigning Olympic, European and world indoor champion.

Thobias Montler of Sweden came closest to challenging him with a best of 8.19m, equalling his season’s best, as bronze went to Romania’s Gabriel Bitan with 8.00m.

Miltos Tentoglou (Getty)

“If the final was in the afternoon, we would definitely see jumps over 8.50m not only from me but also from the other jumpers,” Tentoglou said. “I am in very good shape. The early morning competitions affect the result for sure.

“For example, I tried to sleep early last night but then I was waking up like every hour. Now it is time to look forward to the world championships and I want to try to win gold of course.”

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