Jakob Ingebrigtsen arrives in ‘El Guerrouj territory’: Mario García Romo and Yared Nuguse are waiting for him

Morocco, the land of the world record holder of 1,500 Hicham El Guerroujis the place chosen by Jakob Ingebrigtsen to open his 2023 summer season. It will be this Sunday in the Rabat Diamond League (8:00 p.m., Movistar Deportes). The 22-year-old Norwegian is the top contender to remove the 3:26.00 time from the myth Hicham. And it has many similarities with the Moroccan. He likes to run in front at a very high pace, so as not to receive surprises from rivals that they can have a good sprint. Jakob likes to have the job almost done in the last 100. That way he avoids surprises.

For that, he will ask for very high rhythms from the Frenchman Julian Ranc and the Pole Patryk Sieradzki. The objective will be to pass the 1,000 meters below 2:20 and for Ingebrigtsen to finish off, but… Jakob is going to find himself on the track with a group of dangerous athletes who train in Boulder (Colorado) with the American Dathan Ritzenheim. They are the Australian Ollie Hoare, the American Yared Nuguse and a Spaniard: Mario García Romo.

“You have to give yourself opportunities. Before, Jakob was 10 seconds ahead of me and in the last World Cup he was 1 ″ behind me, says the man from Salamanca, who exploded in 2022 with his mark of 3: 30.20 and fourth place in the world. Jakob is at 3:28:32. He has been preparing throughout the spring in Granada, in the Sierra Nevada, together with his brother Filip, who also runs in Rabat. His brothers, Filip and Henrik, are now the supervisors of his training.

“I love competing and testing myself. I like to win and face the best athletes in the world. In my sporting life I want to run as much as possible and I want to last as long as possible, I don’t pay attention to anyone, I have had the reference of my brothers, but I want to write my own story”, said Ingebrigtsen in Rabat, which will be seen with a ‘covered’ with similar characteristics as Yared Nuguse, the American who has run very fast this winter (3:33.28 indoor). Abel Kipsang, another name to follow in a frantic first race of 1,500.

In the absence of a duel with Jacobs, Kerley against Omanyala

Rabat was also awaiting an atomic duel in the 100 meters between Fred Kerley, world champion, and Marcell Jacobs, Olympic gold medalist, but this was canceled due to sacrum discomfort. They have been throwing taunts at each other all year, but the clash on the track does not come. Nevertheless, there will be a run, with Bromell, the Kenyan rocket Ferdinand Omanyala or the Botswana jewel, Letsile Tebogo.

The fastest of the year is Omanyala, who did 9.84 in Nairobi: “I never look at my rivals, I only look at the finish line and run my race as fast as possible. I have no doubt that I will win.” 9.88 did Kerley in Yokohama. Aim for a very fast race in Rabat. So will be the 200 women’s in which the Jamaican Shericka Jackson will be and Paula Sevilla has entered. She, García Romo and Zoya Naumov, who will be a hare of 1,500, will be the Spanish representation.

The local idol in Morocco is Soufiane El Bakkali, Olympic champion in the 3,000 hurdles. The Rabat Diamond League is his party. In the last one, when he won, he went up to the box to hug all the Moroccan leaders, he kissed his coach’s feet. An heir in Morocco to the throne of El Guerrouj, the successor in the 1,500s is Norwegian. “The objective of all the runners is the record of El Guerrouj, so I will fight for it”, closed Jakob Ingebrigtsen.


20:04 400m hurdles (M)

20:05 Height (M)

20:15 800m (H)

20:27 Disc (H)

20:29 110m hurdles (H)

20:38 1,500m (M)

20:38 Triple (M)

20:52 400m (H)

21:02 200m (M)

21:11 1,500m (H)

21:25 100m (H)

21:34 800m (M)

21:46 3,000 obstacles (H)

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