By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2022 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
EUGENE (24-Jul) — On the tenth and final day of the 18th World Athletics Championships here at Hayward Field, Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway and Athing Mu of the United States won the final two distance medals on offer.
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Ingebrigtsen masterfully controlled a loaded field in the men’s 5000m and became the first Norwegian man to win a world 5000m title. Read more: Jakob Ingebrigtsen wins 5000m world title – Full results at Oregon22
Ingebrigtsen, who won the silver medal in the 1500m here five days ago, was not satisfied to merely win tonight’s race but rather to dominate it. He let Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, last year’s Olympic 5000m champion, set the early pace which was fast: 2:36.59.
Cheptegei, who won the 10,000m title here a week ago, said running from the front felt comfortable and he wanted it to be an honest race.
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“I’m always running fast in a 5-K,” Cheptegei told Race Results Weekly. “So, I wanted to make it exciting. It was comfortable; it was good.”
Kenya’s Nicholas Kipkorir picked up the pacing duties after Cheptegei decided to drift back, but he was not going fast enough to burn off any of the favorites. Through 3800 meters, the pack was still 13 strong. That’s the point where Ingebrigtsen took over and remade the race.
Forty-one hundred meters into the race he took the lead, dropped the pace to 60-second laps, and put the gold medal out of reach. Just to be sure, he dropped a 53.93-second final lap and got the win in 13:09.24. Just before crossing the finish line he looked toward the crowd and raised his index finger to emphasize that he is number one.
“I just wanted to win; I just wanted to win by as much as possible,” Ingebrigtsen told reporters while wearing a surgical mask. “I didn’t want a sprint finish because then some people would have said that it was a coincidence, it was a tactical race.
“But today was not a tactical race. I just won it because I was the better runner.” He continued: “I didn’t want anyone to doubt who was the best runner tonight.”
Did Ingebrigtsen run longer than 5000m in the race?
Remarkably, Ingebrigtsen ran longer than 5000 meters. It was a very warm evening (31C/88F). He swung wide on the backstretch on two occasions to get water from the refreshment station. The first time a race official tried to hand it to him, and Ingebrigtsen missed the bottle. He got it the second time, however.
“They tried to give it to me,” Ingebrigtsen told reporters. “I wanted them to maybe go out (closer to him) so I didn’t have to run that wide, but then with people giving you something it’s more difficult than just grabbing something that stands on a table.”
Kenya’s Jacob Krop moved into second place with 500 meters to go, and was able to hold that position to the end to get the silver medal in 13:09.98. Uganda’s Oscar Chelimo ran a remarkable last lap to collect the bronze medal.
He was only in ninth place at the bell, but turned a 54.16-second last lap and moved from fifth with 100 meters to go to third at the line. He was timed in 13:10.20, just ahead of the fast-closing Luis Grijalva of Guatemala who nearly caught the Ugandan but had to settle for fourth in 13:10.44. Grijalva was only in eighth place at the bell.
“I should have went earlier,” an overjoyed Grijalva said with a hearty laugh. “I had the slowest PB going into the field. It just tells you time doesn’t matter, just competing.”
Cheptegei finished ninth. Reigning world champion, Muktar Edris of Ethiopia, finished 13th.