Berlin, Aug 8 (AFP) Norway’s defending European champion Filip Ingebrigtsen, along with brothers Henrik and Jakob, moved smoothly into the final of the men’s 1500m after successfully negotiating their heats at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium today.
The 25-year-old Filip, the sixth fastest European of all time over 1500m who also won world bronze in London last year, clocked 3min 40.88sec in finishing third in his heat behind Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski and Briton Charlie Grice to progress to Friday’s 12-man final.
Henrik, the eldest of the trio at 27, won bronze behind Filip in Amsterdam having previously won the European crown in Helsinki in 2012 and a silver in 2014. He also progressed after coming in third (3:49.54) in his heat won by Britain’s Chris O’Hare.
Jakob, who will be 18 next month, might be the one to watch out for, however, posting 3:40.81 in winning the third and final heat.
The teenager, coached like his siblings by father Gjert, has a fledgling career based on a solid all-rounder’s grounding in cross-country, steeplechase and 5000m, as well as over 1500m and the mile.
“Of course I’m satisfied to get into the final,” he said.
“It’s all about training. We’ve been working really, really hard. I’m really excited.”
In May this year, Jakob ran a 3:52.28 mile, which included an incredible final lap of 55.42sec, showing how dangerous he could be should family tactics come to the fore come Friday.
“If anyone wants to join the Ingebritsen party, please do so!” said a buoyant Henrik, sporting a mohawk and bushy moustache.
“I’m a championship runner and I haven’t done a fast time this year, so I am confident.”
Filip admitted that “Henrik has more experience” as temperatures in Berlin soared above 34 degrees Centigrade (93F).
And Jakob discounted family tactics, saying: “Initially we were thinking about racing tactics together, but Filip will go for himself, so we decided that we all will do the same.”
– Howe’s reincarnation –
Italy’s US-born one-time long jumper Andrew Howe admitted he was looking for an unlikely reincarnation over 200m, 11 years on from his last major championships podium.
“After I tore my achilles tendon in 2011, I couldn’t continue with the long jump,” Howe said.
“I lacked that reactivity, so my coach suggested I switch to the 200m and it was a really good idea.”
Howe, who won the 2006 European long jump title and world silver in Osaka a year later, clocked 20.60sec in his heat to advance to semi-finals later Wednesday.
In pole for the 200m will be Azeri-born Turk Ramil Guliyev, the reigning world champion who was pushed back into silver in Amsterdam by Spain’s Bruno Hortelano.
The Spaniard, born in Australia to Spanish parents who then relocated to Canada, insisted he was focused initially on the 200m.
“I feel stronger than ever,” said the 26-year-old, who missed all last season after a catastrophic car accident in Madrid, in which he was a passenger, that left him at risk of a hand amputation.
After consulting Spanish surgeon Xavier Mir, the go-to specialist for ranks of battered MotoGP riders, the amputation was avoided and the Cornell University genetics graduate made his return to the track.
He has since set Spanish records for both the 200 and 400m (20.04, 44.69).
“The 200m is my favoured distance and I have a lot less experience over 400m.”
Wednesday’s evening session, with temperatures tipped to top 37C (99F), features four other medal events as well as the denouement of the decathlon.
Women will compete in the 10,000m and shot put, while long jump and discus take centre stage for the men before the sapping 1500m finale of the decathlon.