Jakob Ingebrigtsen Runs 4:43.13 to Break Hicham El Guerrouj’s 2000m World Record

Jakob Ingebrigtsen has broken a Hicham El Guerrouj world record. While El Guerrouj’s two most famous records – 3:26.00 for 1500 meters and 3:43.13 for the mile – remain on the books, Ingebrigtsen ran 4:43.13 on Friday night at the Memorial Van Damme meet in Brussels to erase El Guerrouj’s 2000-meter world record. El Guerrouj set the previous record of 4:44.79 in Berlin on September 7, 1999 – two months after setting his mile world record and one year before Ingebrigtsen was born in Sandnes, Norway.

The 22-year-old Ingebrigtsen, racing for the first time since last month’s World Championships in Budapest, made no secret of his designs on El Guerrouj’s record, announcing the attempt on August 15. Initially, the plan had been for the pacers to target 56-second laps (4:44.79 is 56.96 per 400), but Ingebrigtsen asked for it to be changed to 57 seconds per lap in the early going, hoping to pick things up with a fast final lap as he did to break the 2-mile world record in Paris in June.

(Our recap of the rest of the meet is here: Brussels Diamond League: Addy Wiley Breaks Jenny Simpson’s Collegiate Record, Laura Muir, ETH and Shericka Jackson Run Quick & More )

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It proved the correct strategy. Pacers Cornelius Tuwei and Boaz Kiprugut hit 1k in 2:22.28 with Ingebrigtsen right on them, and by 1300 both men had dropped out, leaving Ingebrigtsen to run alone side-by-side with the green pacing lights. Ingebrigtsen hit the bell at 3:48 right on the lights before passing the lights on the final turn. There was no doubt in the home straight as Ingebrigtsen closed out his run with a 54.9 last lap to run 4:43.13. Ingebrigtsen hit 400 in roughly 57.0, meaning he closed his final 1600 in 3:46.1.

Ingebrigtsen’s average pace for the entire race was 56.63 per 400 and 3:47.78 per mile.

Ingebrigtsen’s record was the latest stellar result in what has been a near-perfect 2023 season. Ingebrigtsen has won 10 of his 11 races, five of them Diamond League points events and one of them the World Championship 5,000 final, setting a personal best at 1500 (3:27.14) and world records at 2000 (4:43.13) and 2 miles (7:54.10). Ingebrigtsen now has three world records/world bests in his career – the 2000m and indoor 1500 (3:30.60) are official world records, while the 2-mile time is the fastest ever but only deemed a “world best” by World Athletics.

The only blemish on Ingebrigtsen’s 2023 season is the race he most wanted to win: the 1500 meters at the World Championships, where he was upset for the second consecutive year, finishing second behind Great Britain’s Josh Kerr

Brussels runner-up Reynold Kipkorir Cheruiyot of Kenya ran 4:48.14 to move to #5 on the all-time list for the rarely-run distance, while Australia’s Stewart McSweyn was 3rd in 4:48.77, #7 all-time. 18-year-old Niels Laros of the Netherlands was 4th in 4:49.68.

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After the race, Ingebrigtsen said this record “wasn’t a difficult one for me,” telling race organizers:

It´s always fun to break a record. This one qualifies as a world record and not as a world´s best. I know I was able to break this one, but I had some kind of virus ten days ago and I didn´t really know how I would be feeling today. However, I felt really good and ran a good race. To be honest this records wasn´t a difficult one for me. Sure, when you have to do it alone, it´s really tough, but I got great help from the pacemakes. Actually they were able to help me more than I expected.

Full results

1 8 NOR
1 40 4:50.01
2 9 KEN
4 14
3 7 AUS
6 13
4 10 NED
13 8
5 2 ESP
8 11
6 12 NOR
9 11 6:17.21
7 11 KEN
3 19
8 3 CAN
25 1 4:56.88
9 6 BEL
10 5 NZL
14 8
11 1 BEL

800m / 1:52 min.


1000m / 2:21 min.


(Our recap of the rest of the meet is here: Brussels Diamond League: Addy Wiley Breaks Jenny Simpson’s Collegiate Record, Laura Muir, ETH and Shericka Jackson Run Quick & More )

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