Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay got their 2021 seasons off to a couple of remarkable starts at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meet in Liévin, France, on Tuesday. The pair won their respective 1,500m races, and they both ran to massive records in the indoor 1,500m. Ingebrigtsen took the men’s win in 3:31.80, a new European record, while Tsegay crushed the women’s world record, stopping the clock in 3:53.09.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen just ran 3:31.80 for 1500 (#5 all-time indoors) in Lievin to DEMOLISH a world-class field — including WR holder Samuel Tefera — by 5+ seconds.
Is this guy never NOT in shape?
— Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) February 9, 2021
Tsegay’s world record
Tsegay has raced one other time in 2021 (at a mile race in Ethiopia), but her run in France was certainly the biggest result of her season so far. On February 8, almost exactly one year ago, Tsegay ran her previous indoor 1,500m PB at a meet in Poland, where she posted a time of 4:00.09. She demolished that time on Tuesday, running seven seconds quicker.
Her result is two seconds faster than the previous world record of 3:55.17, which fellow Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba set in 2014. Dibaba is no stranger to big results in the 1,500m, as she is the reigning world bronze medallist in the outdoor event. She owns an outdoor PB of 3:54.38 in the 1,500m, putting her at 13th all-time in the world rankings.
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) February 9, 2021
Another record for Ingebrigtsen
Ingebrigtsen was considered one of the favourites heading into Tuesday’s race, but he was hardly a lock for the win, as Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera — the world record holder in the indoor 1,500m — was also on the start list. Tefera’s credentials didn’t appear to faze Ingebrigtsen, who ran away from the field to win by five seconds. Tefera finished in 3:39.27, well behind Ingebrigtsen in 11th place.
The young Norwegian beat his own indoor 1,500m PB by four seconds, and he smashed the European record by more than a second. The record previously belonged to Spain’s Andrés Manuel Diaz, who ran 3:33.32 back in 1999 (more than a year before Ingebrigtsen was born). Ingebrigtsen’s run also elevates him to fifth all-time in the indoor 1,500m world rankings, and he now sits just behind legends like Haile Gebrselassie (fourth all-time at 3:31.76) and Hicham El Guerrouj (second in history at 3:31.18).