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Jakob Ingebrigtsen disinterested in revenge race against Josh Kerr

Jakob Ingebrigtsen disinterested in revenge race against Josh Kerr

After winning world 5000m title the Norwegian is not motivated by end-of-season head-to-head with man who beat him to 1500m gold in Budapest

Jakob Ingebrigtsen has no interest in gaining revenge on Josh Kerr despite losing to the Briton in the world 1500m final in Budapest. The Norwegian successfully defended his world 5000m title on Sunday (Aug 28) after struggling with illness all week and when asked by AW whether he would enjoy the idea of taking on Kerr soon he said “no”.

He added: “He (Kerr) was just ‘the next guy’. If I hadn’t run in the final, he would probably have won. That’s how I see the race.

“Obviously if you stumble or fall then someone is going to win the race and he was just the next guy.”

There were shades of 2022 when Ingebrigtsen made similar comments after Jake Wightman beat him to the world 1500m title before he won 5000m gold a few days later in Eugene. On that occasion he implied he was a superior athlete who was not at his best and after being outkicked by Wightman said: “I’m embarrassed being this good but also this bad.”

Certainly there would be opportunities for a rematch, in Diamond Leagues in Zurich, Brussels, Eugene or even over one mile at the World Road Running Champs in Latvia on October 1.

Kerr found the form of his life in Budapest and prepared to perfection in what he called a “boxing style camp” where no stone was left unturned and he lost weight with a strict diet. In comparison Ingebrigtsen says he had the best preparation of his life leading up to Budapest but was struck by a virus in the final days before his races which left him below his best.

Kerr’s victory over Ingebrigtsen was the first time the Briton had beaten him in nine races dating back to their first clash at the World Under-20 Championships in Poland in 2016, when Ingebrigtsen, who was just 15 at the time, finished ninth in the 1500m final just one place and 14 hundredths of a second ahead of Kerr.

Ingebrigtsen was still bothered by his illness during Sunday night’s 5000m final on the last night of the 2023 World Championships. “I’m definitely not 100%,” he said. “I still feel a bit swollen up in my throat.”

He had to pull out all the stops as well to overtake Mo Katir of Spain in the final metres to win gold in 13:11.30. The early stages of the race were very slow but it wound up in the latter stages and Ingebrigtsen drew deep into his reserves to run a last 800m in 1:50.65, final lap in 52.45 and last…

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