World 5000m champion goes for El Guerrouj’s long-standing mark of 4:44.79 at Diamond League in Brussels on Friday
If Jakob Ingebrigtsen has recovered from the mild illness that he says affected his performances at the World Championships in Budapest, he will attack the world 2000m record at the Allianz Memorial Van Damme meeting in Brussels on Friday (Sept 8).
The mark of 4:44.79 was set by Hicham El Guerrouj in Berlin in 1999 and saw the Moroccan running splits of 57.9, 1:55.4, 2:52.4 and 3:49.60 with estimated 1500m and one mile times of 3:35.3 and 3:50.9.
Ingebrigtsen, who wasn’t even born when El Guerrouj set the record, has been in brilliant form this summer with European records at 1500m and a world two mile best, but he was defeated in the 1500m in Budapest by Josh Kerr and narrowly won the 5000m a few days later ahead of Mo Katir of Spain, claiming he was underpar due to illness.
The 2000m world record has been held over the years by Steve Cram, Paavo Nurmi, Said Aouita and John Walker among others. One of the old records was even set in Brussels by Belgian Gaston Reiff with 5:07.0 from 1948.
Ingebrigtsen already owns the European record incidentally with 4:50.01, whereas fellow competitors on Friday include Abel Kipsang of Kenya, Elliot Giles of Britain, Niels Laros of Netherlands and fellow Norwegian Nerve Nordas.
In this penultimate Diamond League meeting of 2023 a number of world champions from Budapest are due to be in action. They include Femke Bol in the 400m hurdles, Mondo Duplantis in the pole vault, Mary Moraa in the 400m, Haruka Kitaguchi in the javelin and Yaroslava Mahuchikh in the high jump.
After her championship 200m record of 21.45 in Budapest, Shericka Jackson will be hoping for another fast time in Brussels and the The King Baudouin Stadium has a history of fast 200m times. Yohan Blake of Jamaican ran 19.26 here in 2011, Merlene Ottey clocked 21.64 back in 1991 and the Van Damme meet director Kim Gevaert set the Belgian record of 22.20 in Brussels.
Brits in action include Matt Hudson-Smith in the 400m, Morgan Lake in the high jump, Dina Asher-Smith tackles the 100m, Laviai Nielsen in the women’s 400m, Ben Pattison runs the 800m while Daryll Neita and Zharnel Hughes are in the 200m races.
Laura Muir, Katie Snowden and Melissa Courtney-Bryant run the women’s 1500m.
Andy Butchart and Sam Atkin, meanwhile, are in the 10,000m with Aimee Pratt and Jess Warner-Judd in the women’s 5000m.
The day before the main programme (on Sept 7) there is a Diamond League shot contest in Brussels featuring world champion Chase Ealey of the United States.
The event is on BBC for UK viewers from 7-9pm.
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