Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen rewrote the record books again, this time over the rarely-run distance of 2000m in the Brussels Diamond League on Friday (7) evening.
The mark of 4:44.79 had stood to the legendary Hicham El Guerrouj, who still holds the world 1500m and mile records since 1999 but Ingebrigtsen reduced that mark to 4:43.13 in his first race since a bittersweet World Athletics Championships in Budapest where he atoned for his 1500m silver medal by successfully defending his 5000m title.
A trio of pacemakers escorted Ingebrigtsen beyond the one kilometre mark in 2:22.28 to set up the world record attempt for the Norwegian who was also assisted by the wave-light technology which was fixed at world record pace.
And just when it looked as though the record lights were about to snake away from Ingebrigtsen on the penultimate lap, the four-time European outdoor champion kicked hard at the bell and gritted out a last lap of 55.00 to claim ownership of the record, slashing more than one second off El Guerrouj’s long-standing mark.
“It's always fun to break a record. This one qualifies as a world record and not as a world best. I know I was able to break this one, but I had some kind of virus ten days ago and I didn't really know how I would be feeling today. However I felt really good and ran a good race.
“To be honest this records wasn't a difficult one for me. Sure, when you have to do it alone, it's really tough, but I got great help from the pacemakers. Actually they were able to help me more than I expected,” said Ingebrigtsen.
This was Ingebrigtsen’s first official world outdoor record. The Norwegian rewrote the record books over two miles earlier this season with 7:54.10 but that mark was classified as a world best as opposed to a world record.
There were a slew of national records behind Ingebrigtsen. Double European U20 champion Niels Laros set a Dutch record - and European U20 best - of 4:49.68 in fourth, one place ahead of Mario Garcia who set a Spanish record of 4:49.85.
And on home soil, Belgium’s Ruben Verhayden rewrote the record books with a national record of 4:52.37 in ninth.