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World Champs Men’s 5000 — Ingebrigtsen And Yogi Berra

World Champs Men’s 5000 — Ingebrigtsen And Yogi Berra

At the end of his second final of a physically trying championships, Jakob Ingebrigtsen looked to the video screen as if to confirm the result. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

A YEAR AGO Jakob Ingebrigtsen had redemption on his mind. He had been outsprinted down the homestraight in the WC 1500 and was determined to never let that happen again, so he won the 5000.

Well, as baseballer Yogi Berra famously said, “It’s déjà vu all over again,” as another homestretch sprint foiled the Norwegian’s as-yet-unrequited quest for a WC 1500 title. Now, the Budapest 5000 loomed, and his desire to exact revenge was not lost.

This, however, was not going to be an Ingebrigtsen walkover. A lingering sore throat that pestered him in the 1500 was still a concern and he also had plenty of company.

Notable in the cast of characters: world leader Berihu Aregawi, Hagos Gebrhiwet; indoor mile recordholder Yomif Kejelcha, Olympic silver medalist Moh Ahmed, ‘22 bronze medalist Jacob Krop, Oregon22 1500 bronze medalist Mohamed Katir and Guatemala’s Northern Arizona alum Luis Grijalva.

Per the WC-final norm, the pace was less than moderate and Ingebrigtsen positioned himself behind the middle of the pack. Early leaders included Kenya’s Ishmael Kipkurui at the front though 1600 (4:24.05), Gebrhiwet, who marginally increased the tempo and brought everyone by 3200 in 8:44.61 and Aregawi, who increased the slowish 65s to 62-high. That increase in pace got the attention of Ingebrigtsen, who now positioned himself in the top 7.

With 3 laps to go the bunched field was headed by Aregawi, Gebrhiwet, Grijalva, France’s Jimmy Gressier, Krop, American Abdihamid Nur, Ingebrigtsen, Katir, Kejelcha and Ahmed.

After another 62, it was still anybody’s game and with 2 to go everyone in the chain gang was hanging tight.

A 58.3 brought them to the bell and Katir was now on the shoulders of Gebrhiwet and Aregawi as the favored Ingebrigtsen was looking to get by Kejelcha and start his chase.

With 300 to go Katir opened 2m on Gebrhiwet. Ingebrigtsen went wide and was in full flight to catch the Spaniard.

With 200 to go, Ingebrigtsen was gaining ever so slightly on Katir. Down the homestretch, Katir gave it everything he had, but Ingebrigtsen was inching closer and closer and passed Katir just meters from the line.

His 52.5 last lap was enough to take the 13:11.30 victory, 0.14 ahead of Katir and 0.98 ahead of Krop, who ran down Kejelcha, Gebrhiwet, Aregawi and Grijalva to claim…

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