Coloring with drama the chronicle of a 1,500 meter race involving Jakob Ingebrigtsen, an invincible 22-year-old boy indifferent to the feelings of the world, is not the tricky and useless maneuver that gives some rallies luster when this is the case for the finale of a world championship held in the oven of a nocturnal Budapest dampened by the fumes of the mighty neighboring Danube. Ingebrigtsen copies Gabo and almost always forces the chronicle of an announced victory. Athletics rejects anyone who wants to aspire to the Colombian Nobel Prize. Athletics, the night of Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s second loss in a World Cup final, like a year ago in Eugene, bears the first and last name of a Briton, Josh Kerr, a 25-year-old Scotsman from Edinburgh who copies Englishman Jake Wightman in one Race that is a copy of the last World Cup and at 200 meters, a curve and a straight line he attacks and knocks down. 53 seconds in the last 400 m. And win. 3 minutes and 29.38 seconds over the 1,500 meters. Less than three tenths behind is the Norwegian, who is an Olympic champion but not a world champion (3:29.65 minutes) and only three hundredths behind his compatriot Narve Gilje Nordas (3:29.68 minutes). And everyone looks surprised. The stadium. The people in front of the television. It is 1,500 m.
“I woke up with a sore throat. I wasn’t doing well,” says Ingebrigtsen, arrogant even with grief: “I was at 88% of my capacity. If I was at 92% I might have won. But it wasn’t me.”
It is the world of Jakob Ingebrigtsen, arrogant, convinced of his invincibility, directing the race at will, like a wizard with a magic wand. Think and choose. Haircut and marine attitude with Rayban. sharp head Greco-Roman tattoos. bullfighter. Do not worry. Cold. The clichés that the Scandinavian from Stavanger in Norway needs, hit the character, his way of moving, his pose. Calm, security, increases knowledge. England’s Jake Wightman, the athlete who controlled, surprised and defeated him at the 1,500m World Cup in Eugene a year ago, is missing injured. Is not present. In the semifinals, the rivals he feared most were eliminated: Mo Katir, who was getting closer to him every day and even made him nervous at times, and Tim Cheruiyot, the 2019 Kenyan world champion. Ingebrigtsen, 2021 Olympic champion, wants to be world champion . You want it more than anything. The frustration multiplies. You can do it like in the semifinals, play clumsy and overtake everyone in a corner 150 meters away and at the same time greet the finish line.
He can repeat his Eugene Tactic, the front-runner tactic that he likes so much and that clashed with Wightman. repeat tactic. The one who lost the final, like the stubborn golfer who is convinced his ball won’t go in, not because of his bad shot, but because reality isn’t behaving as it should and he’s repeating his mistake. Choose wrong. At 1,300 meters, the route is yours. Pace: 3m30s 56s 400m, 1.54m 800m. He doesn’t look behind him, but those who follow aren’t the little lambs he thought were trained fatalists. Resigned. Those behind come closer, He feels them. Amidst the roar of the full stadium, the eleven pursuers are not in contention for second or third place. podium. medals No exploits. Consciousness. You strive for victory. You believe in her.
eleven fight. Among them, and he is not one of the smallest, Mario García Romo from Villar de Gallimazo, Salamanca, already fourth in 2022, while Katir was third when it was unveiled. Everyone calculates and adapts their run to the pace. The 56s they use to cover the first 400 yards aren’t what García Romo and his friend and roommate and training partner in Colorado, Yared Nuguse, want. He hugs him, good luck before he goes to the start.
Ingebrigtsen cannot abuse. He can’t keep the record pace. On Friday he will have to push himself again for his second challenge to repeat the 5,000m gold medal he achieved in 2022. With this pace, 3.30 m, everyone else can dream. Seven cleared that hurdle this summer. They feel the same way. They grow up and distrust. The aim is to arrive well placed in the last 300 meters. Briton Josh Kerr, medalist in Tokyo, handles experience. Nervous, nuguse, novice at this level. Niels Laros, the 18-year-old Dutchman, is dreaming. In your cloud. Nordas, the 24-year-old Norwegian whom Jakob’s father began training when his son told him last year he could fly alone, makes no noise. Discreet, not noticeable. It doesn’t move from its place. wait for your moment He doesn’t go any further. Patient. His distance is the last 300m.
Kerr, the one who knows best, Wightman’s friend, comes over. He knows that just hearing his footsteps will unsettle Ingebrigtsen, who stumbles as Kerr charges. Try to shut him up. He is confused. He refuses to give in. The melee continues in the final sprint. The magician Ingebrigtsen, the magician of endless changes, stays dry. Give in again. “I’m blown away by the win,” says Kerr, who races in streamlined sunglasses so he doesn’t get caught in the headlight glare and adds to the tunnel effect. “I’m very proud of myself, but I didn’t feel like I ran my best race. I only completed my 16-year track and field career in the last 200 m and didn’t stop until the end.”
Behind them they all openly fight for third place. The final speed enabled García Romo, who was chasing the whole time and was penultimate before the deafening chime, to finish sixth (3:30.26 minutes).
The 1,500m, the most complicated race requiring intelligence, legs and faith, triumphs again. Sportiness.
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