Jakob Ingebrigtsen Dusts Field Over Final 200 to Win 2022 World 5,000m Title

By LetsRun.com
July 24, 2022

EUGENE, Ore. – Did they not watch the women’s 5000 last night?

Did the 5000 competitors not realize if they allowed the 1500 silver medalist to hang around, he would make them pay?

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Olympic 1500 champ Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway is now a world champion. In the 5000. After having to settle for silver in the 1500, Ingebrigtsen used a 26.68 final 200 to blow away the field and win his first 5000 world title tonight in 13:09.24. Kenya’s Jacob Krop, the Rome Diamond League (12:46.79) and Kenyan runner-up this year, took the silver in 13:09.98 while Uganda’s Oscar Chelimo, Jacob Kiplimo’s brother, went from eighth to a surprise third (13:10.20) in the final 200. The age of the three medallists tonight: 21, 21, and 20.

The man with the second-best final 200 (27.10) and best last 100 (13.17) was former NAU runner Luis Grijalva of Guatemala who went from 9th with 200 left and 8th with 100 left to fourth in 13:10.44. American Grant Fisher was in a perfect position to challenge for a medal as he rounded the final turn, sitting in third behind Krop on the rail, but he tripped on the rail with about 120 meters and lost all momentum, finishing 6th in 13:11.65.

A slew of BIG names didn’t medal in this one. In the process of securing his first world title on the track, Ingebrigtsen beat the reigning Olympic 5000 champ and 5000/10,000 WR holder in Joshua Cheptegei (9th, 13:13.12), the reigning Olympic 10,000/World Indoor 3000 champ Selemon Barega (12th, 13:19.62), and the winner of the last two World 5000s in Muktar Edris (13th, 13:24.67).

The Race

On a warm evening (88 degrees, 36% humidity, 58 dew point at start with half the track still in the sun), Cheptegei tried to make this one honest early on as he ran 62.05, 63.19, and 62.73 for the first three laps. But 1300 meters into it, he was motioning for someone else to take it, but no one did and the pace slowed dramatically.

So while the first 1200 was run in 3:07.95 (that’s 13:03 pace), the next two 1200s were just 3:16.38 (6:24.33) and 3:18.27 (9:42.60), meaning they had passed through 3500 at just 13:28.6 pace. 

So the 5000 was turning into a 1500. Game, set, match, Ingebrigtsen?

Most definitely. Just as was the case last night in the women’s 5000, which also was won by the 1500 silver medallist, Ingebrigtsen, who twice went wide to get water mid-race, had little trouble in this one late in the race.

Men’s and Women’s 5000 – The Same Race Two Days in A Row
Men Women
WR Time 12:35.36 14:06.62
2022 Worlds Winning Time 13:09.24 14:46.29
% Difference 4.45% 4.76%

At 4k (10:46), Ingebrigtsen was in third on the rail behind Krop and 2022 world leader Nicholas Kimeli of Kenya. Amazingly, they just moved out and let him take the lead with a little over 900 meters remaining. He never gave it up and controlled things all the way home, running his penultimate lap in 58.85 and the final lap in 53.93 (1:52.78 final 800).

Results and then a full analysis with post-race interviews appears below.

Results

POS
BIB
COUNTRY ATHLETE
MARK
1
2190
NOR
13:09.24
2
2095
KEN
13:09.98
3
2331
UGA
13:10.20 SB
4
1948
GUA
13:10.44 SB
5
1636
CAN
13:10.46
6
2376
USA
13:11.65
7
2089
KEN
13:11.97
8
1799
ETH
13:12.09
9
2333
UGA
13:13.12
10
2084
KEN
13:16.64
11
2412
USA
13:18.05
12
1790
ETH
13:19.62
13
1794
ETH
13:24.67
14
1888
GBR
13:41.04
15
1915
GER
13:45.89

Quick Take: Jakob Ingebrigtsen showed his quality over the last kilometer

Ingebrigtsen said afterwards that he didn’t have a specific gameplan that led him to victory tonight.

“I didn’t want you guys to make an article saying it was a tactical decision,” Ingebrigtsen said. “Because it wasn’t. I was just better. So I wanted to prove that I was just running faster than the other guys.”

He may not want us to write that it was a tactical decision, but every victory involves some form of tactic, and Ingebrigtsen’s was essentially this: take the lead with just under 1000 to go and then run away from everyone else. It worked, and with his 2:23.14 final kilometer, he proved exactly what he set out to: that he was the best man in the field. It was a simply masterful close.

Quick Take: Ingebrigtsen reveals the true challenge of leading

Ingebrigtsen tried leading in the 1500 and was upset but then took over the lead with just under 1k to go tonight and stormed to victory. He said it’s not easier to lead a 5,000 versus a 1500. Rather, he believes it comes down to the specific race dynamics. If he can lead smoothly without being constantly forced to fend off attacks, Ingebrigtsen believes things will work out well for him. But, if as in the 1500 final, he is forced to up his pace to constantly fend off others, he is not using his energy efficiently and could be vulnerable at the end of the race.

“That’s obviously what a great runner is, but that’s a difficult thing to save energy in the front and that’s why you lose it at the end, because you’ve used too much energy,” Ingebrigtsen said.

He added that tonight he didn’t “let the door open” for anyone to try to pass him whereas in the 1500 he didn’t run fast enough while leading, which allowed a kicker like Jake Wightman to hang around.

Quick Take: Ingebrigtsen says he wants to keep doubling (and maybe tripling or quadrupling) at Worlds/Olympics

Ingebrigtsen ran the 1500/5k double at the 2019 Worlds as a 19-year-old and finished 4th and 5th. In Eugene, he finished 2nd and 1st and said he plans to continue running both events at global championships…and perhaps more.

“If it’s possible to do more, then I’m going to do more,” Ingebrigtsen said. “…If there were a 10k tomorrow, then I would probably be in the 10k. If it was a steeple the day after 10k, then I’d probably do steeple.”

Someone get Seb Coe on the phone and let’s make this work.

Quick Take: This was a very unlikely top four

Luis Grijalva noted that of the 15 men in today’s final, only four had never broken 13:00 in their careers. Yet two of those men went 3-4 today as Oscar Chelimo (13:06 pb) was 3rd and Grijalva (13:10 pb) was 4th. The runner-up, Jacob Krop of Kenya, was also something of a surprise. Even though Krop ran 12:46 this year, he didn’t win that race and was only 2nd at the Kenyan trials. That he was top Kenyan here over Olympic 4th placer Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli came as a surprise.

Chelimo’s result was also a shock based on his pre-Worlds results (he was 3rd in Grosseto in 13:11 on May 22 in his only other 5k this year) but he looked great in winning semi #1 on Thursday and has good genes (his brother is half marathon world record holder Jacob Kiplimo).

The real shocker here was Grijalva. Last year, he was the NCAA runner-up behind Cooper Teare. Heck, last month he ran 13:18 to finish 11th in the Oslo Diamond League. Yet somehow on a warm evening he managed to almost PR in a tactical race (he missed his PR by .35) and close in 54.63 to almost steal a medal. A truly incredible performance by the NAU grad.

Quick Take: Grant Fisher put himself in perfect position and isn’t sure what went wrong

Fisher felt he did everything possible to put himself in medal contention today and was in third as he rounded the final turn into the homestraight. Then disaster struck as Fisher stepped on the rail, losing momentum and fading to 6th by the finish.

What, exactly, happened, is unclear. Fisher was running behind Krop and in front of Ahmed but it’s unclear if either of those athletes contacted him or if Fisher just took a misstep and stepped on the rail. Even Fisher himself wasn’t sure and said he would have to consult the video to figure out for certain.

“I don’t know exactly what happened honestly,” Fisher said. “It happened really fast. All I know is I all of a sudden was going straight into the rail and had to chop the steps up and get momentum back and flail about and keep going. I’m not going to point any fingers until I see the video.”

It’s unfortunate for Fisher as he had worked himself into great position and still felt he had some run in him but could not recover once his momentum was stalled.

This is not the first time something like this has happened to Fisher as he stepped inside the rail on the final lap of the mile at 2015 New Balance Nationals Indoors (that time with no one around him).

This wasn’t the first time Fisher hit the rail in a big race. He did it in HS in 2015.

Quick Take: Abdihamid Nur enjoyed being able to race with former NAU teammate Luis Grijalva

Nur, who finished 11th, and Grijalva happened to be next to each other on the start line, and Grijalva suggested they do something together on the start line. Nur was initially reluctant but they wound up raising their hands together and he was ultimately glad they did.

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