Jakob Ingebrigtsen Completes “Double-Double” by Winning 2022 European 1500 Title
By Jonathan Gault
August 18, 2022
Jakob Ingebrigtsen is golden again.
After claiming 5,000-meter gold at the European Athletics Championships in Munich on Tuesday, Ingebrigtsen doubled back and won Thursday’s 1500-meter final in wire-to-wire fashion, setting a championship record of 3:32.76 in the process. Jake Heyward, who just missed out on making the British team for the World Championships and finished 5th at the Commonwealth Games for Wales, took silver in 3:34.44, running down Spain’s Mario Garcia Romo, who held on for bronze in 3:34.88.
The victory for Ingebrigtsen improves his record to 4-0 in European outdoor finals and means he has completed the “double-double” by winning the 1500 and 5000 at both the 2018 and 2022 European championships. All at the age of 21.
As is his custom, Ingebrigtsen started slowly off the line, but worked his way into the lead on the home straight of the first lap and would stay there the rest of the way. He hit 400 in a quick 56.34, 800 in 1:54.11 (57.77 lap), and 1200 in 2:51.68 (57.57 lap), at which point a pack of four men — Garcia Romo, Heyward, Italy’s Pietro Arese, and Poland’s Michal Rozmys were in close pursuit. Ingebrigtsen opened a small gap on the back straight before blasting away over the final 200, using a 55.24 last lap (27.14 last 100) to crush all opposition.
The only drama in the final half-lap centered around silver and bronze as Heyward passed Garcia Romo in the home straight to take silver and Garcia Romo held off the 22-year-old Arese — who ran a 2+ second pb of 3:35.00 — to earn bronze to go with the Euro U23 silver he won last year.
1 9 295 NOR INGEBRIGTSEN Jakob 3:32.76 CR
2 4 822 GBR HEYWARD Jake 3:34.44
3 1 705 ESP GARCÍA Mario 3:34.88
4 2 953 ITA ARESE Pietro 3:35.00 PB
5 11 850 GBR STONIER Matthew 3:35.97
6 8 703 ESP GARCÍA Gonzalo 3:37.40
7 6 1065 POL ROZMYS Michał 3:37.63
8 7 820 GBR GOURLEY Neil 3:38.40
9 3 933 IRL COSCORAN Andrew 3:39.91
10 10 775 FRA HABZ Azeddine 3:40.92
11 5 702 ESP FONTES Ignacio 3:42.30
12 12 616 BEL DEBJANI Ismael 3:43.28
Quick Take: The Ingebrigtsen family owns this race
Jakob’s win means that an Ingebrigtsen has won four of the last five European 1500 titles. Oldest brother Henrik won in 2012, Filip won in 2016, and Jakob won in 2018 and 2022. The only non-Ingebrigtsen to win in that span was France’s Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad in 2014 (Henrik was second in that race).
Quick Take: This time, leading wasn’t a problem for Ingebrigtsen
At the World Championships, Ingebrigtsen tried leading the final 800 meters but had to spend energy fighting to protect his lead from Timothy Cheruiyot, leaving him vulnerable to a kick by Jake Wightman on the final lap. At Euros, the field was not as strong (though the top five finishers at Worlds were European, only Ingebrigtsen and Garcia Romo returned for the 1500 at Euros) and no one fought Ingebrigtsen for the lead once he went to the front. That allowed him to dictate the race as he pleased and his ability won out as he showed how much fitter he was than the rest of the field over the final 200 meters.
“I felt I have this speed in my legs today so I wanted to go fast from the beginning,” Ingebrigtsen told race organizers. “I wanted to have a fast race and I wanted to win. Also, when I heard the great home crowd cheering for us and I also saw so many Norwegian flags in the stands, it was a great motivation for me today.”
Ingebrigtsen also said he’s not done racing this season.
“I feel in shape, it feels good tonight,” Ingebrigtsen said. “Now, straight back to training and I hope for some more good races before the end of the season.”
Quick Take: Garcia Romo: “I don’t think there is anything I could have done to stop Jakob from winning”
Garcia Romo, who is at the end of a long season after winning the NCAA indoor title in March and finishing as NCAA runner-up in June for Ole Miss, was honest in his post-race assessment to race organizers.
“I don’t think there is anything I could have done to stop Jakob from winning the gold medal,” Garcia Romo said. “He is the best in the world right now, and the rest of us are just not able to be at that level for now. The good things is that I have him as a reference now, and I can plan my work around it – to improve in the next years. I thought I could stay with him until the end, but close to the last 100 meters I started fading a bit, especially after the pace changed. Maybe if I had fought for silver medal, I could have got it but – knowing that gold was already taken – but it was a great race, and I hope I can be a winner in the future at these same championships. I did most of my training in the US whereas my team mates were in Switzerland, so there was no team tactics, but there’s a really good atmosphere amongst us all. My season in the US finished in June, and these Champs are only taking place in August, so I did the best I could.”