Teenage sensation Jakob Ingebrigtsen doubles up Euro triumph

Norwegian 17-year-old beats brothers to win 1500m final at Berlin 2018 before clinching 5000m gold

By ZK Goh ·

Remember the name Jakob Ingebrigtsen. You could be hearing it a lot more in years to come.

The Norwegian teenage sensation dethroned brother Filip, 25, as the 1500m European champion on Friday in Berlin.

A day later he beat his other brother Henrik, 27, to the 5000m title.

No athlete has ever completed the 1500–5000m double at the European Championships before. Jakob Ingebrigsten has done it at 17.

Not only is Europe's most exciting young track talent the first person born in 2000 or later to become a European athletics champion, he's also now the youngest to win at the Euros on the track.


"It was a little crazy to get this medal today."
—Jakob Ingebrigtsen

"Winning a second title in two days is also the result of having done this my whole life", the youngster added.

"Believe me, we started preparing for the 5000m final, as soon as we crossed the line on the 1500m last night."

Ingebrigtsen's time of 13:17.06 was also a new European under-20 record. It's one of three marks held by the Norwegian.

"I knew he would eventually become the best in Europe and the world, but that he could do it at 17, I couldn't imagine in my wildest dreams, he earned it; he didn't just accidentally grab it."
—Henrik Ingebrigtsen

Family pedigree

Jakob isn't old enough to drive a car in his home country. Neither is he allowed to buy cigarettes or alcohol.

But he can run.

His incredible victory in the 1500m saw him beat his older brothers, Filip and 2012 European champ Henrik, to the line.

Jakob is considered the most talented of the Ingebrigtsen trio.

Even their father and coach, Gjert, was surprised by his son's triumph.

"It's quite ridiculous that he's won; he's only 17 years old. He leads from 600 metres and runs just right away from them," he said.

"That's madness!"

Jakob Ingebrigtsen - 1500m final - European Championships Berlin 2018

The siblings had hopes of sweeping the podium, but Henrik, the eldest, finished fourth, while defending champion Filip made it home in 12th.

Henrik admitted after the race: "There is nothing that surprises me about him any more."

And Jakob has an ominous warning for his rivals.

"From here, I'm only going to be better."

The three brothers have four other siblings.

And watch out: younger sister Ingrid, who's just 11, is already the fastest in her age group.

The Ingebrigtsens are so famous, they have their own documentary series on Norwegian state broadcaster NRK!

Track record

Jakob Ingebrigtsen has a strong track record behind him to back up his words.

He holds the world under-20 leading time in the 1500m this year, set at the Diamond League in Monaco where he finished fourth. That time, 3:31.18, is also the European junior record.

In addition to that and his new 5000m record, his personal best in the mile (3:52.28, set at the Eugene Diamond League in May) is also the fastest time in European junior history.

His 5000m performance in Berlin bettered the previous mark of 13:20.78, which he set en route to winning bronze at the recent IAAF World U20 Championships in Finland. He also took silver in the 1500m.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway leads the field during the men's 1500m heats at he IAAF World U20 Championships on July 10, 2018. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images for IAAF)

His pedigree was obvious even before that. In 2017, he competed in three events at the European Junior Championships in Italy.

While he only finished seventh in the 1500m, he clinched gold in both the 5000m and the 3000m steeplechase, showing his versatility as an athlete.

One to watch at the World Championships in Doha next year!