Jakob Ingebrigtsen - Norway's hope for a return to athletic medals at the Olympics

Monaco - 2020 Diamond League
Monaco - 2020 Diamond League
D Dharmendra

Jakob Ingebrigtsen is one of the most popular athletes worldwide and amongst the most exciting to watch, thanks to his fearless racing. He is set to make his Olympic debut at Tokyo and is perhaps the best known of the three Ingebrigtsen brothers - the other two, both older than him, having already been Olympians.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen is also very young (he's yet to turn 21) and is a good bet to medal at the 1500m event at the Tokyo Olympics He is currently ranked just below the favorite, Timothy Cheruiyot, in the 2021 World Athletics ranking for 1500m runners.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen has run numerous exciting races, setting several Norwegian national and European records over multiple distances ranging from the 1500m to the 10000m.

The most memorable of his numerous outstanding displays is the 2018 Monaco Diamond League 1500m race where he finished behind Timothy Cheruiyot (both runners setting personal bests in the process).

Cheruiyot remains the favorite to win gold at Tokyo in the 1500m. Jakob Ingebrigtsen finished 4th in the 2019 World Athletics Championships, just behind Marcin Lewandowski, who represents the only other challenger from Europe to the Norwegian's 1500m medal hopes.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen - will he end Norway's wait since 1996 for a track medal?

Jakob Ingebrigtsen is Norway's biggest hope, alongside Karsten Warholm (in the 400m hurdles) for a return to medals on the track. The Scandinavian nation have been waiting for 25 years now with Rodal's gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in the 800m being their last track podium.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen - social media darling

Jakob is also one of the most popular athletes on social media and also widely followed on running forums.

His youthful humour (he lists 200 wins in Fortnite on his Instagram profile, for example!) combined with his fierce racing and photogenic looks have made him a hit. Most posts on his Instagram account garner over 25K likes, much like the other famous Norwegian, Magnus Carlsen.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen also represents an interesting departure from regular professional athletes. His father is his coach and was also one of the subjects of a documentary series that ran in Norway between 2016-2019 tracking his family.

There's much promise in Jakob Ingebrigtsen's future given his range. In his debut at the distance, he broke the Norwegian record for the 10K in 2019 and that was held by the first European man to break 2:06 in the marathon.

The 800m and 1500m are the only two events where European athletes figure among the favorites for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Other events, from the 3000m steeplechase to the marathon, are dominated by East African athletes.

If Jakob Ingebrigtsen decides to double at the Tokyo Olympics in the 1500m/5000m events as he did at the European Championships, he would fancy his chances for a medal perhaps in both events, given his current form.

His maiden Olympic appearance at the Tokyo Olympics should be one of many exciting events to watch.

Also read: Ingebrigtsen, 17, beats big brother for 1-2 finish at Euros

Edited by Parimal
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