Local athletes excited for home Games
The Dream Mile will bring the Diamond League event to an end on Thursday and is set to be one of the highlights. Henrik and Filip Ingebrigtsen will compete alongside last year’s winner Britain’s Jake Wightman and pre-race favourite Kenya’s Eiljah Motonei Manangoi.
Having missed last year’s event with injury, Henrik is especially looking forward to participating. “I am really so excited to race again at the Bislett Games. I can’t wait to feel the atmosphere again and being on the starting line.
“I am pain-free and training has been good. I am still missing some speed so I am not expecting to be near my personal best but I want to run an ok race then be ready to move on from there. I was hoping I would be a little better by this point but I have a few steps to go to get to my best and we will see how fast I can go. I am glad that the European Champs are still two months away so I can use that time to get my form.
“My brothers are both looking amazing. I think they will have their best season yet so it is up to me to try keep up!”
Bronze medallist in the World Championships in London last year, Filip Ingebrigtsen also runs in the Dream Mile on Thursday. He said, “Every year I look forward to Bislett and I hope there will be a full stadium this year with the expected very good conditions. I have not really studied the competition this year but there is always a good field at the Diamond League.
“My winter has been flawless and training has been going really well with high quality altitude training. I am really well prepared although I had a small setback with a slight injury so I am not quite where I wanted to be for these first competitions – I may need some more time to be at my best. My form hasn’t been peaking but I have been able to maintain some form during the early races. I want to retain the gold from 2016 [in the European Championships] and this year I am targeting the 5000m as well. Last year I ran faster each race through to the Worlds and this year I want to build on the 2017 season.”
The youngest of the three brothers at just 17, Jakob Ingebrigtsen competes in the 1500m. The 2017 European junior champion in the 5000m and steeplechase said, “The Bislett Games is a big event for Oslo and it is my fourth time competing so I am very much looking forward to race here. I always look forward to competing with my brothers. My shape is good so I hope I can do better than in Eugene. My target for the season is to medal at the World Juniors at the 1500 and 5k and then I have the Europeans as well which I have not been in before. I am hoping to reach the final in the 1500 and I am also running in the 5k there. I am not expecting much but it is really important to be competing with the best guys in Europe.
“This Thursday’s line up is better than expected so I am looking forward to race then as this is the first year I will have raced this calibre of athlete at that pace but I am not thinking about winning, just running a good race and hopefully getting a PB.”
Although not a Diamond League event, the women’s 100m hurdles has attracted a top international field including American’s Queen Harrison and Jasmin Stowers along with Bulgaria’s Alina Talay and, of course, local favourite, Isabelle Pedersen who will look to repeat her personal best performance at last year’s Bislett Games.
Pedersen explained how special the Games are to her. “It is only, maybe, twice a year that we have the opportunity to run in front of a home crowd, your entire support team, your friends and your family so that you can show the work that you have been doing and share that moment with them. It is my favourite thing to be able to share that moment, it means a lot and regardless of how it goes I can still go up to the stands and give my grandmother a hug.
“It is like Championships, you can feel the atmosphere as soon as you get into the Stadium. It is a positive stress that the home crowd gives you. I am super happy that it is going to be a nice temperature and I am here and ready to go.
“My preparation has gone well, my winter block in the States went well on the back of the great indoors season. After Stockholm I have another intensive training block. The Europeans is my big target and I really really want to medal there but I also want to get my ticket to the Diamond League final in Brussels.”
In another non Diamond League event the men’s 10,000m gives a number of Norway’s top distance runners an opportunity to compete amongst some of the best. After missing out on the World Half Marathon Championships through illness, Sondre Nordstad Moen is relishing the challenge. “The last two months have been good. I am not focusing on the others in the race, I intend to stay with the pace until 7k and then the real running will begin. I am working towards the 10k at the European Championships but after that I am looking to move up to half marathon and marathon.”
The Bislett Games takes place on Thursday 7 June from 1740 hours.