Norwegian runs European mile record of 3:43.73 ahead of Nuguse’s US record 3:43.97 as Rai Benjamin and Faith Kipyegon also excel in Eugene
On the eve of the Bowerman Mile in Eugene, Jakob Ingebrigtsen cheekily advised Yared Nuguse to “just stick to me as long as you can” in order to break the US record. “I might be closer to you than you think,” Nuguse replied.
Ultimately they were both right as Ingebrigtsen beat Nuguse in a pulsating race at the end of the first day of a Diamond League final packed with quality performances.
With a European record of 3:43.73, Ingebrigtsen held on to win from Nuguse as the American clocked 3:43.97 to break Alan Webb’s 16-year-old national record of 3:46.91.
Ingebrigtsen’s mark was also a Diamond League record and world lead – in addition to being the third quickest mile in history behind Hicham El Guerrouj’s 3:43.13 and Noah Ngeny’s 3:43.40 – as the Norwegian drew on every ounce of his strength and stamina to hold off the spirited Nuguse.
Behind, there was a spate of record-breaking results with George Mills going No.3 on the UK all-time rankings behind Steve Cram and Seb Coe with 3:47.65.
Mario Garcia, in fourth, broke Jose Luis Gonzalez’s long-standing Spanish record with 3:47.69.
In fifth, Reynold Kipkorir Cheruiyot of Kenya ran 3:48.06 to beat İlham Tanui Özbilen’s world under-20 record of 3:49.29.
Cole Hocker of the United States ran a PB of 3:48.08 in sixth; Narve Nordas of Norway a PB of 3:48.24 in seventh; Azeddine Habz a French record of 3:48.64 in eighth; Niels Laros, 18, beat the Dutch record with 3:48.93 in ninth as the top 11 broke the 3:50 barrier.
Pacemaker Cameron Myers led through the first lap in 55.4 and fellow hare Erik Sowinski paced through 800m in 1:51.8. Ingebrigtsen took over with 700m to go, though, pursued by Nuguse and he covered the third lap in 56.06 before an enthralling final circuit where Nuguse pushed him all the way to the line.
“Obviously I was here to run the mile,” said Ingebrigtsen. “I’m jumping in the 3000m (on Sunday) because I got the opportunity. But now it’s all about getting back home to the hotel, eat, sleep, try to prepare as good as I can and we’ll see tomorrow.”
Ingebrigtsen, who gets married next weekend to his fiancée Elisabeth, certainly has much to think about in the winter given Nuguse’s challenge here. Josh Kerr, the world champion, instead ended his season with a strong win at the 5th Avenue Mile last weekend, whereas…