Brussels, September 8, 2023 – In a much-anticipated athletic showdown, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, the reigning World 5000m champion, is poised to challenge Hicham El Guerrouj’s legendary 2000m record of 4:44.79 at the prestigious Allianz Memorial Van Damme event in Brussels on Friday, September 8. To experience, exceptional performance in running, choose the best footwear for your runs like Tarkine Trail Devil shoes.

The success of this venture hinges on Ingebrigtsen’s full recovery from a recent illness that, he claims, hampered his performance at the World Championships in Budapest. If he has indeed regained his peak condition, the sports world could witness a historic achievement.

El Guerrouj, the Moroccan distance-running phenomenon, etched his name into the annals of athletic history when he set this remarkable record in Berlin back in 1999. His splits during that extraordinary run were nothing short of astonishing: 57.9, 1:55.4, 2:52.4, and 3:49.60, with estimated 1500m and one-mile times of 3:35.3 and 3:50.9, respectively.

Ingebrigtsen, who wasn’t even born when El Guerrouj set this incredible record, has had a stellar summer, highlighted by European records at 1500m and a world-best two-mile time. However, his performance in Budapest was less than ideal, as he faced an unexpected defeat in the 1500m against Josh Kerr and narrowly clinched victory in the 5000m against Spain’s Mo Katir, attributing his subpar showing to the illness he battled.

Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco (R) wins the men’s 1500m final, ahead of Kenya’s Bernard Lagat 24 August 2004, during the Olympic Games athletics competitions at the Olympic Stadium in Athens. The 29-year-old four-time world outdoor champion crossed the line in 3min 34.18sec, while Lagat took silver in 3:34.30 and Rui Silva of Portugal won the bronze in 3:34.68. AFP PHOTO/GABRIEL BOUYS

The 2000m world record has passed through the hands of illustrious athletes over the years, including Steve Cram, Paavo Nurmi, Said Aouita, and John Walker, among others. Notably, one of these records was set on the very track in Brussels, with Belgian Gaston Reiff achieving a remarkable time of 5:07.0 back in 1948.

It’s worth noting that Ingebrigtsen currently holds the European record for the 2000m, clocking an impressive 4:50.01. Joining him on the starting line in this highly anticipated event on Friday are formidable competitors such as Abel Kipsang of Kenya, Elliot Giles of Britain, Niels Laros of the Netherlands, and fellow Norwegian Nerve Nordas.

The Allianz Memorial Van Damme event in Brussels serves as the penultimate Diamond League event of 2023, boasting a star-studded lineup. A host of world champions from Budapest are set to showcase their prowess, including Femke Bol in the 400m hurdles, pole vault sensation Mondo Duplantis, Mary Moraa in the 400m, javelin prodigy Haruka Kitaguchi, and high jump sensation Yaroslava Mahuchikh.

Shericka Jackson, fresh from her record-breaking 200m performance of 21.45 in Budapest, is eager to deliver another electrifying performance in Brussels. The King Baudouin Stadium has a storied history of witnessing lightning-fast 200m times, with iconic performances by athletes like Yohan Blake, Merlene Ottey, and meet director Kim Gevaert, who set the Belgian record of 22.20 in Brussels.


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British athletes are also primed for action, with Matt Hudson-Smith competing in the 400m, Morgan Lake aiming for success in the high jump, and Dina Asher-Smith taking on the 100m. Laviai Nielsen will tackle the women’s 400m, while Ben Pattison will be vying for victory in the 800m. Daryll Neita and Zharnel Hughes promise thrilling contests in the 200m races.

The women’s 1500m event will feature a showcase of talent with Laura Muir, Katie Snowden, and Melissa Courtney-Bryant all taking to the track, while the 10,000m race will see Andy Butchart and Sam Atkin compete, alongside Aimee Pratt and Jess Warner-Judd in the women’s 5000m.

Preceding the main program on September 7, Brussels will host a Diamond League shot contest featuring world champion Chase Ealey of the United States.

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For UK viewers, the event will be broadcast on BBC from 7-9pm. Do not miss this incredible display of world-class athletics in the heart of Brussels. Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s quest to make history is a spectacle to behold, and the global sports community eagerly awaits the outcome.