Previews28 Jun 2023

Ingebrigtsen and Girma clash in hunt for fast 1500m in Lausanne


Jakob Ingebrigtsen in Lausanne (© Getty Images)

Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Lamecha Girma both made history earlier this month in Paris, where they set a world two-mile best and a world 3000m steeplechase record, respectively. Now they have the chance to race for fast 1500m performances when they return to Wanda Diamond League action in Lausanne on Friday (30).

Norway’s Ingebrigtsen, who broke the world indoor 1500m record by running 3:30.60 in Lievin in February, clocked 7:54.10 in Paris to improve Daniel Komen’s world best for two miles. Despite still having that race in his legs, the 22-year-old improved his own European 1500m record to 3:27.95 in Oslo six days later – a time that places him sixth on the world all-time list.

Although the world record had not been his aim in Oslo, Lausanne’s Athletissima gives Ingebrigtsen another opportunity to take further strides toward Hicham El Guerrouj’s almost 25-year-old world record of 3:26.00.

“I 100% have more left in me,” Ingebrigtsen said after his performance in Oslo. “I just have to keep focused on each race ahead in the build-up to Budapest (World Championships), where it really matters.”

Girma will hope to chase him. The Ethiopian 22-year-old ran 7:52.11 for his specialism in Paris, taking 1.52 seconds off the world 3000m steeplechase record set by Said Saeed Shaheen in 2004, and then turned his attention to attacking the Ethiopian 1500m record of 3:29.91 at the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Ostrava on Tuesday (27). He still looked like he had plenty left in the closing stages but having to run wide down the home straight, he focused on the win, clocking a PB of 3:33.15 that he will aim to improve again in Lausanne.

It will be the first time that Ingebrigtsen and Girma have clashed in any discipline.

In Oslo, Ingebrigtsen led the first eight men under 3:30 for the first time in history, and this time the line-up includes two other men who have dipped under that barrier so far in their careers: Britain’s Olympic bronze medallist Josh Kerr and Australia’s Stewart McSweyn. They are joined on the entry list by Ethiopia’s Teddese Lemi, New Zealand’s Sam Tanner and Britain’s Neil Gourley.

"We haven’t really discussed the pace yet," said Ingebrigtsen at the pre event press conference in Lausanne. "I’m here looking for a good race and trying to win the race as usual. I’m here to race and have a good fight with the other runners and hopefully be able to win again.

"The 1500m is a good event for meeting different runners - you can have people coming up from the 800m and down from the steeplchase, 10,000m and 5000m."

In the 5000m – the discipline in which Ingebrigtsen won world gold last year after his 1500m silver – Olympic champion Joshua Cheptegei, who continues his track comeback after injury, will take on Olympic 10,000m gold medallist Selemon Barega, world 5km record-holder Berihu Aregawi, Telahun Haile Bekele, Birhanu Balew and their fellow sub-13:00 runner Muktar Edris.

In the women’s 3000m steeplechase, world U20 silver medallist Sembo Almayew is back on the track after her world-leading PB performance of 9:00.71 to win in Florence. The 2021 world U20 gold medallist, Jackline Chepkoech, was second on that occasion and is also racing, along with world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech and world bronze medallist Mekides Abebe.

The world leader also heads the entries in the women’s 800m, where world and Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson – who improved her British record to 1:55.77 to win in Paris – will look to make another statement as she renews her rivalry with Kenya’s Mary Moraa.

Keely Hodgkinson in Paris

Keely Hodgkinson in Paris (© Getty Images)

World bronze medallist Moraa, who won Commonwealth Games and Diamond League titles ahead of Hodgkinson last year, has run a best of 1:58.72 so far this season and the strong field also features Habitam Alemu, Noelie Yarigo, Jemma Reekie, Catriona Bisset, Natoya Goule and Switzerland's Audrey Werro, who recently ran a world U20 1000m record of 2:34.89 in Nice.

Crouser continues European campaign, Mahuchikh and Olyslagers hope for street celebration

World shot put record-holder Ryan Crouser opened his 2023 European campaign with a 22.63m meeting record in Ostrava on Tuesday. With a few more days to get over his jet lag, the US world and Olympic champion will aim to return to the sort of form he showed in Los Angeles last month, when he improved his world record to 23.56m using his new technique.

New Zealand’s 2017 world champion Tom Walsh has also surpassed 22 metres already this season, throwing 22.22m to win in Bydgoszcz and following that with 22.15m to finish second to Crouser in Ostrava. They clash again in Lausanne, where the entry list also includes Tomas Stanek, who was third in Ostrava, plus Italy’s Leonardo Fabbri and Zane Weir.

"I’m excited for tomorrow. It should be a better result that Ostrava was," said Crouser. "Training has been going really well in preparation for the World Championships. This is a much better opportunity to throw far than Ostrava was in regards to travel and the training schedule; I trained hard and heavy right up until I left (the US), so that might have impacted the jet lag a little bit."

Ryan Crouser

Ryan Crouser (© Errol Anderson)

The women’s high jump will be in the spotlight the evening before the main meeting at the Stade Olympique de la Pontaise, with the action taking place as part of a street competition held at Lausanne's Place Centrale.

Eyes will be on Ukraine’s world indoor champion Yaroslava Mahuchikh and Australia’s Olympic silver medallist Nicola Olyslagers as they go head-to-head having both cleared the world-leading mark of 2.01m this season. Mahuchikh achieved it at the Diamond League meeting in Rabat, while Olyslagers managed it in Turku. They are yet to face each other this season but Mahuchikh won their last clash, winning the Diamond League title in Zurich in September as Olyslagers placed third.

Adding further strength to the field are Belgium's Olympic and world heptathlon champion Nafi Thiam, Ukraine’s Iryna Gerashchenko and Yuliia Levchenko, and Britain’s Morgan Lake.

USA’s Olympic and world pole vault champion Katie Moon has won in Doha – where she cleared her world-leading 4.81m – and Florence already this season and she will be looking to build on that as she goes up against last year’s Diamond League champion Nina Kennedy, European champion Wilma Murto, world indoor bronze medallist Tina Sutej and home favourite Angelica Moser, plus world bronze medallist Holly Bradshaw, making her season debut.

Olympic long jump champion Miltiadis Tentoglou is another who will hope to defend his Diamond League title this year and after winning in Paris, he’ll look to avenge his defeat to Simon Ehammer in Oslo. India’s Sreeshankar leads the entries based on season’s best, however, thanks to the 8.41m PB he achieved in Bhubaneshwar last month, while European U18 champion Mattia Furlani is also in the form of his life, having jumped 8.24m in Hengelo earlier this month.

India’s Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra competes in the javelin for the first time since the Diamond League season opener in Doha, where he threw 88.67m, and he will have to be in that sort of form again to contend with a field that includes Olympic silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch, who threw the world lead of 89.51m in Turku, plus two-time world champion Anderson Peters and world fourth-place finisher Julian Weber.

Neeraj Chopra in Zurich

Neeraj Chopra in Zurich (© Getty Images)

In an open women’s javelin contest, Japan’s world bronze medallist Haruka Kitaguchi will look to continue her winning ways after victory this week in Ostrava and also in Paris. Two-time world champion Kelsey-Lee Barber – runner-up in Paris – continues to build momentum this season and will hope to make a mark in Lausanne in a field that also features Norway’s world leader Sigrid Borge, who improved her lifetime best by more than three metres to 66.50m in Halle in May, plus European champion Elina Tzengko and Australia’s Mackenzie Little.

Bol is back, Camacho-Quinn and Amusan clash again

World 400m hurdles silver medallist Femke Bol proved that her switch in stride pattern is paying off as she clocked a world lead of 52.30, close to her European record of 52.03, to win in Oslo. The Dutch 23-year-old now uses a 14-step technique, rather than 15, up to hurdle seven and will be aiming for a similarly strong performance in Lausanne where she will line up alongside the likes of Britain’s Jessie Knight and Lina Nielsen.

Femke Bol on her way to a 400m hurdles win in Oslo

Femke Bol on her way to a 400m hurdles win in Oslo (© Matthew Quine / Diamond League AG)

The Olympic champion renews a rivalry with the world champion in the women’s 100m hurdles as Jasmine Camacho-Quinn takes on Tobi Amusan, as well as US trio Nia Ali, Alaysha Johnson and Tia Jones, plus Poland’s Pia Skrzyszowska, who continues her comeback after injury, and home favourite Ditaji Kambundji.

Camacho-Quinn has the edge, however, as she clocked the world lead of 12.31 when winning at the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Los Angeles and is unbeaten in all six of her races so far this season, also running a wind-assisted 12.17 in Bermuda.

Asked about the frequent clashes between the world's top athletes in the event, Camacho-Quinn said: "It’s important that we do race each other. It’s changing a lot in the hurdles and the times are getting a lot faster. We know what to expect, we know where each other are at. You win some, you lose some. It's preparation, trying to work on things, to get us ready for the World Championships."

Jason Joseph is sure to receive great home support in the men’s 110m hurdles, with the European indoor champion having improved the national record to 13.10 when finishing second in Florence. Racing against him in Lausanne are Shunsuke Izumiya, who clocked a Japanese record of 13.04 in Osaka earlier this month, plus Just Kwaou-Mathey and Wilhem Belocian of France.

World leader Marie-Josee Ta Lou heads the entries in the women’s 100m, fresh from her 10.75 run in Oslo. That was the multiple world medallist’s eighth 100m win, including heats, since May and the time took her close to the African record of 10.72 she ran in Monaco last year.

She’ll hope to extend that streak on Friday, when she goes up against Britain’s Daryll Neita and Imani Lansiquot, New Zealand’s Zoe Hobbs and home star Mujinga Kambundji, the world indoor champion.

The men’s 200m stars Olympic champion Andre De Grasse and world U20 gold and silver medallist Letsile Tebogo, who has taken his PB to 19.87 this season.

Jess Whittington for World Athletics