This Saturday, all eyes will be on the Prefontaine Classic as Josh Kerr and Jakob Ingebrigtsen renew their rivalry, which has been simmering since Kerr’s stunning victory over the Norwegian star in the 1,500m at last year’s World Championships.

With just 76 days to go until the Paris Olympics, Kerr is focused on surpassing his world championship time of 3:29 if he hopes to claim Olympic gold. He knows Ingebrigtsen, who was visibly upset after finishing second, will not allow another British runner to overtake him in the final stretch. Kerr has a strategy ready for their August 6 encounter, but he’s keeping it a secret for now.

Kerr recently acknowledged the challenge ahead, saying, “I need to be better. I’m not the current Olympic champion. It’s Ingebrigtsen’s title to lose.”Embed from Getty Images

Saturday’s mile race in Oregon will offer an early indication of what to expect in Paris. The rivalry isn’t just confined to the track; Ingebrigtsen has downplayed Kerr as “just the next guy” and blamed illness for his Budapest loss. Kerr has responded by criticizing Ingebrigtsen’s manners and pointing out his weaknesses. Despite the verbal sparring, Kerr has had an impressive indoor season, setting a two-mile world record and winning the 3,000m gold in Glasgow.


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Ingebrigtsen, who boasts a faster outdoor two-mile time, claimed he could have surpassed Kerr’s indoor record “blindfolded.” However, his last competitive race was in September, and his preparations have been disrupted by personal issues, including an Achilles injury and family controversies. His father and former coach, Gjert, was charged with physical abuse, which Gjert denies.

For Ingebrigtsen, Saturday’s race is a crucial opportunity to shake off the rust, but a subpar performance could be seen as a sign of trouble. He has confidently stated he would beat Kerr and other rivals “98 times out of a hundred.”

The Prefontaine Classic features a world-class field, including American record holder Yared Nuguse, making it a preview of the Olympic final. As Kerr and Ingebrigtsen gear up for their clash, the stage is set for a thrilling summer of athletics.