Some of the world’s top track athletes are in Torun, Poland, for the European Indoor Championships, and Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen got his weekend off to a great start with a win in the 1,500m on Friday. His victory didn’t come easily, though, and soon after crossing the finish line he received news that he was disqualified. The Norwegian federation filed a protest, and not long after Ingebrigtsen’s DQ, he was reinstated as European champion.
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Ingebrigtsen won the race comfortably, crossing the line in 3:37.56 and finishing half a second ahead of Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski, (who won European indoor 1,500m gold in 2019 after beating Ingebrigtsen). While Ingebrigtsen ultimately cruised to the win, he had some trouble in the pack early on in the race as he attempted to pass Michal Rozmys (another Polish athlete who ended up in sixth place).
Ingebrigtsen tried squeezing by Rozmys on the inside line, but the Pole didn’t make room for his Norwegian competitor, and after some jostling, Ingebrigtsen was thrown off balance and he stepped off the track. Ingebrigtsen recovered well, and by the end of the first couple of laps, he had moved to the front of the race with Lewandowski just behind.
Ingebrigtsen stayed in front for the remainder of the race, and while Lewandowski never fell too far behind, the young Norwegian was too strong, and he made it look easy as he closed for the win. Just 10 minutes later, however, he was disqualified for a lane violation and Lewandowski’s silver was upgraded to gold.
Officials from the Norwegian team challenged the disqualification, pointing to the fact that Ingebrigtsen had been pushed off the track by Rozmys.
“The rules are on my side, there is a paragraph saying if you’re pushed to the inside of the curb and it’s not your fault, it’s OK,” Ingebrigtsen told Athletics Weekly after the race. “There were just too many runners in the race. We talked with Michal Rozmys after the race – none of us [were] trying to shove the other one, it just happened when too many other guys were coming from the outside. I simply wanted to win the race.”
Ingebrigtsen followed his win in the 1,500m with a 7:49.52 showing in Saturday’s 3,000m heats, and he will compete in the final on Sunday. If he wins, he will become the first man to win the 1,500m-3,000m indoor double at the European championships.
UPDATE: Ingebrigtsen won the 3,000m in 7:48.20, breezing to the win by more than a second.