Katir, second with double record in the best 3,000 in history

The best race in history in the 3,000 meter dash. No nuances or asterisks. That was experienced this Wednesday in the French town of Lievin, at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais, the best indoor meeting of the year. Now, after a one-on-one for the annals of athletics, even more so. Lamecha Girma and Mohamed Katir, Mohamed Katir and Lamecha Girma. One after the other, stride by stride towards the two best marks ever in the test. Katir, who arrived with the intention of breaking the Spanish record, crossed almost all borders. With a time of 7:24.68, he inherited the double throne from his colleague Adel Mechaal, the best national and European since February 2022 (7:30.82 in New York), and caressed the hat-trick after a devilish Girma, who ran like no one had ever done before to leave the world record in a stratospheric 7:23.81. two lightning bolts

They were from very early, stretching a race that was completely broken in the last kilometer, when the Ethiopian athlete, world runner-up in the event, decided not to look back. He accelerated and, behind him, only the Spaniard appeared, who suffered and suffered. His body language denoted exhaustion, with his tongue literally hanging out at various times, but he didn’t stop. The train in front of him, and which he had jumped on with a vigorous reaction, had as a stop a mark not broken since 1998, when Daniel Komen set an enduring world record of 7:24.90. With a stroke of the pen, he becomes the third best crown ever; With a stroke of the pen, Katir, who has renounced the indoor Europeans (from March 2 to 5, in Istanbul), becomes the fastest in Spain and Europe. It will focus on preparing for the outdoor World Cups (from August 19 to 27, in Budapest). After what has been seen, there will remain a doubt with a flavor of certainty about what could have happened in Turkey. You can be allowed to choose. And enter the story.

Ingebritsen flies to Madrid?

More shine in a meeting that squandered stars, with 15 medalists and five Olympic champions. Among all of them, before the Girma and Katir exhibition, one name had the most attention: Jakob Ingebrigtsen. The Norwegian, punished by colds in recent weeks, arrived with doubts. His physical condition had put an entire continent on alert. “I am very happy and looking forward to the Europeans”, he said today, with a smile when he heard about medals, on French soil. A joy that, at the same time, also seems to point towards Madrid, which will host the penultimate date of the World Indoor Tour Gold 2023, on February 22. “If he is in condition, he will come; if not, it will discard the covered track. I hope it goes well in Lievin and we can enjoy it,” said the president of the Royal Spanish Athletics Federation, Raúl Chapado, on Monday.

In his first race of the year, the Viking left the best mark so far of 1,500. A 3: 32.38 that, at times, he projected above his own world record, set a year ago (3: 30.60) on the same stage, an Arena Stade Couvert delivered. 1:09 in the first 500 meters, 2:20 after going through the kilometer. Right at that point, the second and last of the hares said goodbye, with Ingebritsen’s breath always on the neck. Frantic pace from the start, with the group very broken. Only the best could stay in the front positions, with only two podium places available. The second was left by the French Azeddine Habz (3:35.27); the third, a fantastic Mechaal (3:36.55). The Spaniard, with his best mark of the course, reissued the European minimum that he already achieved in 2022. The other national representative in the test, Ignacio Fontes, finished in ninth position (3:37.91).

Among the big stars, like Ingebritsen, they also did their homework Armand Duplantis (pole pole), with his umpteenth jump over six meters (6.01), Grant Holloway (60 m hurdles), with a time of 7.39 seconds, Karsten Warholm (400 m), with a time of 45.51, the Dutch Femke Bol (400 m), with the best mark of the meeting (50.20), or Gudaf Tsegay (1,500), with the best time of the year (3:57.47). Before, the first Spanish joy had already fallen. Álvaro de Arriba, from Salamanca, European champion of the event in 2019, climbed to the podium of the 800 m final Bhis debut of the year in the distance, with a time of 1:47.87.

Dose of controversy and surprise

A constellation and some suspense. The Olympic and European champion Miltiadis Tentoglou also delivered more than enough in the long jump, achieving first place and the best mark (8.41 m) of the year… if World Athletics does not say otherwise. In Torun, last week, the Greek signed an 8.40 that, days later, would be cancelled. The reason? The shoes used, the Adidas Ambition 2, a model that, according to the international organization, cannot be used in the test. “They think that the thickness of the back of the shoe is good, but it’s not only useless, it makes it heavier and it’s difficult to run,” defended Tentoglou, wearing the same shoe in Lievin. You will have to repeat the argument. The Swede Thobias Montler (8.06) and the American Marquis Dendy (7.94) completed the podium, far from being a surprise that he did take another Olympic gold, Marcell Jacobs, surpassed in about 60 m that he had won in the last two editions of the meeting. The Italian, who stopped the clock in 6.57 seconds, saw himself surpassed by the Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala, who arrived as the world leader of the test and, in addition, signed his best mark (6.54).

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