Olympic 1500m champion slices four seconds off Daniel Komen’s 1997 mark at Diamond League in Paris
Daniel Komen’s world best for two miles of 7:58.61 dates back to July 1997. While it is not a particularly popular distance, it has survived attacks from Haile Gebrselassie, Joshua Cheptegei, Eliud Kipchoge and Mo Farah over the years.
On Friday (June 9) in Paris, though, Jakob Ingebrigtsen took more than four seconds off the Kenyan’s mark with 7:54.10.
Paced by Benoit Campion and then Kyumbe Mungti until just after 2000m, Ingebrigtsen started steadily with a first mile of 4:00.3 before closing with a superb 3:53.8. As he passed 3000m in 7:23.8 – compared to Komen’s 7:27.3 – it was clear the record was his.
“Being able to make this record feels amazing,” said Ingebrigtsen. “It is my first world best outdoors. The pace felt very smooth for me, coming out of the 1500m.
“The public was amazing, without their help, it would have been more difficult. I was a bit surprised about the time in the end.”
On finishing so strongly, he said: “We started off considerably slow but you come to realise that that’s the way to do it.”
When Komen ran his record in Hechtel, Belgium, 26 years ago he ran splits of 3:59.2 and 3:59.4 – and it came 43 years after Roger Bannister ran the world’s first sub-four-minute mile.
When asked by AW what his best distance is, Ingebrigtsen said probably 3000m given that he’s a strength-based runner. “I feel like I’m going down to the 1500m,” he added.
“We started off considerably slow, but you come to realise that’s the way to do it!”
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) June 9, 2023
The 1500m is possibly his favourite distance, however, as he’s not a fan of the lengthy pain involved over 3000m and 5000m.
“At the moment the 3000m is one of my better events but I’m a man of every distance,” he explained. “I want to run fast at everything. The 1500m is not that exhausting compared to 3km and 5km but it’s more demanding physically.”
Runner-up Ishmael Rokitto of Kenya was a long way behind in 8:09.23 followed by Kuma Girma of Ethiopia, Justin Koech of Kenya and recent Night of the 10,000m PBs winner Paul Chelimo of the United States in fifth.
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