At the Paris Diamond League last week, the incredible Norwegian athlete and Olympic 1,500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen achieved a remarkable two-mile world best. On Thursday evening (afternoon for viewers in North America), the 22-year-old superstar will be competing in his home country, aiming to challenge his national record of 3:28.32 at the Oslo Diamond League.
Jakob’s WR bid
Ingebrigtsen headlines a deep men’s 1,500m field, featuring the silver and bronze medallists from Tokyo 2020, Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot and Josh Kerr of Great Britain. Other notable athletes are American Yared Nuguse and Mohamed Katirwho came off a Spanish national record performance over 5,000m in Florence two weeks ago, taking the win in 12:50.79.
During the pre-race press conference, Ingebrigtsen put his confidence on display and said he’s eager to chase a personal best and even take a shot at Hicham El Guerrouj’s 1,500m world record of 3:26.00 “If I break the world record Thursday, I deserve a statue,” said Ingebrigtsen. The Bislett Games meet director responded: “If you do it, I’ll personally set up a statue outside Bislett [Stadium].”
Although there has been a lot of world record talk from Ingebrigtsen and the media, the Wavelight pace in the 1,500m will be set to the meeting record of 3:29.12, going through 800m in 1:52 and the first kilometre in 2:19 . Ingebrigtsen will have to close the 500m final in 66 seconds and a sub-53-second final lap if he hopes to take down the world record.
Canadians in Oslo
Two prominent Canadian athletes are competing at Oslo Diamond League Thursday. Olympic 200m Champion Andre DeGrasse looks to get his season back on track in the men’s 200m. The last year hasn’t been easy for De Grasse, changing coaches, battling injury and a slow start to the 2023 season. In his first three 200m race of the season, he has struggled to dip under the world championship standard mark of 20.24 seconds, a time he has frequently sailed under over the last two seasons. In his first Diamond League race in Doha on May 5, his turnover in the final 70 meters was n’t there, and he faded to sixth in 20.35. It’s been three weeks since his last race for him, and he will come into Oslo as one of the favorites on paper, having the second-fastest personal best in the field after the young American, Erriyon Knighton.
Canadian mile and 1,500m record holder Gabriela DeBues-Stafford had a successful outing in her Diamond League return in Florence two weeks ago. After a full year off due to injury, the 27-year-old Olympic finalist ran to a season’s best 4:03.64 over 1,500m. She will come into the Oslo Diamond League as the top-ranked woman in the mile event. This race in Oslo should be more tactical and better suited for DeBues-Stafford’s racing style than the 1,500m in Florence, which resulted in a new world record for Faith Kipyegon.
Faith Kipyegon breaks women’s 5,000m world record in Paris
Two other athletes who will be a tough test for DeBues-Stafford are Jessica Hull, who recently set an Australian record of 3:57.29 in Florence, and Ethiopian rising star birke haylom, who ran a giant personal best of 3:57.66 for third place at the Rabat Diamond League. DeBues-Stafford’s mile best is 4:17.87 from Monaco Diamond League in 2019, but any result under 4:23 for her would be a step in the right direction as she continues to prepare for the 2023 World Athletics Championships later this summer.
How to watch
You can stream all the action from Thursday’s Oslo Diamond League online with CBC Sports, starting at 2 pm ET