Jakob Ingebrigtsen once again demonstrated his exceptional talent, clinching his fifth gold medal at the European Athletics Championships and kicking off his bid for another 1500m/5000m double.

The 5000m event, often considered the more demanding of the two, was Ingebrigtsen’s first race at this distance since his gold medal win at last year’s World Athletics Championships in Budapest. “Great stadium and great crowd,” he remarked, visibly pleased with the atmosphere.

Photo: © NTB via REUTERS

Ingebrigtsen started the race conservatively, staying at the back of the field during the opening laps. As they reached the halfway point, he moved to the front, staying close to leaders like Spain’s experienced Adel Mechaal and Britain’s up-and-coming George Mills.

As the final lap began, Ingebrigtsen surged ahead, with only Mills managing to keep up. The scene was reminiscent of the previous two World Championships 1500m finals, where Ingebrigtsen was overtaken by British runners Jake Wightman (Eugene 2022) and Josh Kerr (Budapest 2023). However, this time, Ingebrigtsen maintained his lead, finishing with a rapid 54.14-second final lap to win in 13:20.11. Mills secured silver with a time of 13:21.38, and Switzerland’s Dominic Lokinyomo Lobalu took bronze in 13:21.61.

Reflecting on his victory, Ingebrigtsen said, “This is what it is all about – a great stadium and a great crowd. I am very happy with my performance. I am moving in the right direction, improving with each race. This championship demands top-level performance, and I gave my best. Now, it’s about recovering, getting a good night’s sleep, and preparing for my next race.”

Sweden’s Perseus Karlström finally captured the gold medal in the men’s 20k walk at the European Athletics Championships, adding to his collection of three World Championships bronze medals and a silver from Munich 2022.

Karlström displayed exceptional discipline, staying at the front until 7km when Spain’s Paul McGrath took the lead. McGrath, a former European U20 and U23 champion, seemed poised for victory as the race progressed. However, Karlström remained composed, regaining the lead at 15km and steadily pulling away to win in 2:19:13, celebrating his triumph with a series of push-ups at the finish line.

Embed from Getty Images

McGrath battled valiantly to secure silver in 1:19.31, while Italy’s Francesco Fortunato delighted the home crowd by taking bronze in 1:19.54, improving on his Munich 2022 performance.

Karlström, basking in the enthusiastic support along the Foro Italico course, expressed his joy, saying, “The crowd is amazing here; they helped a lot. I have a good connection with Italians, their race walkers, and, of course, the food. I even speak a little Italian. When Paul (McGrath) took the lead, I stayed calm, kept pace, and maintained the gap. I felt confident this race was mine. Walking through the tunnel in the final 400m and entering the stadium to an explosion of noise was incredible. I love it! Race walking is big in Italy, and to win here is special.”

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here