European Indoor Champs — Big Names Soar

With his 1500 & 3000 golds Jakob Ingebrigtsen picked up European titles Nos 10 & 11. And he’s still just 22. (JIRO MOCHIZUKI)

İSTANBUL, TURKEY, March 03–05 — The 37th European Indoor Championships, conducted less than a month after the devastating earthquake in Turkey/Syria, brought double-gold performances for Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Femke Bol (plus a new pentathlon WR for Nafi Thiam). The two 22-year-olds repeated their golden pairings of the ’21 edition but with faster times.

Norway’s Ingebrigtsen — having delivered Olympic and outdoor Worlds wins plus an outdoor Euros 1500/5000 double last summer since his wins in Toruń 2 years ago — first held off a last lap challenge from Briton Neil Gourley to win the 1500. A 13.33 last 100 closed Ingebrigtsen’s meet record 3:33.95 win with recent British recordsetter Gourley at 3:34.23.

Saying he had expected a great fight from Gourley, Ingebrigtsen added, “I love to compete and to collect medals. That is what drives me and other athletes. It is not only about the winning, it’s about winning time after time. My main goal is to become the best runner that ever existed. To do that, I will need to win more races and the next one is tomorrow.”

It was the day after tomorrow, in fact, the meet’s final day. Ingebrigtsen won the 3K by powering off a tactical tempo (3:59.73 at 1500), 7:40.32–7:41.75, from Adel Mechaal, the ’17 champion. Mechaal dogged his every step but Ingebrigtsen’s tourniquet of closing splits squeezed the Spaniard to silver: 1:54.78, 55.04, 27.54, 13.15.

Bol, who like Ingebrigtsen has expanded her medal collection impressively since Toruń ’21, came in having whacked 0.33 from Jarmila Kratochvílová’s 41-year-old 400 WR at the Dutch Champs in February. She had chopped it down to 49.26.

Bol had achieved her record with splits of 23.63/25.63 and with a fuller event card here attacked only a tad more conservatively this time. She grabbed the lead and passed 200 in 23.78 ahead of teammate Lieke Klaver’s 23.91 split. Klaver could not match Bol’s 26.07 closer and was 0.72 behind at the finish, 49.85–50.57.

“Coming to İstanbul with a World Record, I could feel that everybody wanted me to go even faster, and expected that I could,” Bol said. “Unfortunately, it is harder than it might look. I have multiple European titles, but the world title is still missing. The World Record is step 1.”

Klaver earned a gold leading off the Netherlands’ world-leading 3:25.66 win in the 4×4, a meet record by nearly 2 seconds. Bol brought it home in one of the fastest indoor splits ever, 49.58.

Moment’s before Bol’s 400 win, Karsten Warholm swam through lactic acid to triumph in the men’s event in 45.35 from the 45.44 Belgian Record of Julien Watrin. The 400H record man, who had taken his semi in 45.43 blazed a 20.84 first lap — way ahead of Watrin’s 21.50 in 3rd — and then flogged himself home in 24.51.

His banzai start “just hit me like a wall,” Warholm said. “With this, you never know what is going to come. I was just fighting my ass off to save myself and I am very happy it was gold today.”

With Sondre Guttormsen’s vault win and a silver from Sondre Skotheim in the heptathlon, Norway topped the medal standings.

Pedro Pichardo (57-9/17.60 Portuguese Record) and Jazmin Sawyers (22-11¾/7.00 British Record) won with world-leading jumps.

Miltiádis Tentóglou’s LJ win (27-2¾/8.30) was his third straight at the Euro Indoor with Tobias Montler’s silver the Swede’s third in a row of that color.

Men’s Winners:

60: Samuele Ceccarelli (Ita) 6.48. 400: Karsten Warholm (Nor) 45.35. 800: Adrian Ben (Spa) 1:47.34. 1500: Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Nor) 3:33.95. 3000: Ingebrigtsen 7:40.32 PR. 60H: Jason Joseph (Swi) 7.41 NR. 4 x 400: Belgium 3:05.83 (D. Borlée 47.54, Doom 46.51, K. Borlée 45.80, Watrin 45.98). HJ: Douwe Amels (Neth) 7-7 (2.31) NR. PV: PV: 1. Sondre Guttormsen (Nor) 19-¼ (5.80). LJ: Miltiádis Tentóglou (Gre) 27-2¾ (8.30). TJ: Pedro Pichardo (Por) 57-9 (17.60) NR (WL). SP: 1. Zane Weir (Ita) 72-4½ (22.06) NR. Hept: Kevin Mayer (Fra) 6348 (6.85, 24-3¾/ 7.41, 51-10½/15.81, 6-6/1.98, 7.76, 17-4½/5.30, 2:44.20).

Women’s Winners:

60: Mujinga Kambundji (Swi) 7.00. 400: Femke Bol (Neth) 49.85 (x, 7 W). 800: Keely Hodgkinson (GB) 1:58.66. 1500: Laura Muir (GB) 4:03.40. 3000: Hanna Klein (Ger) 8:35.87 PR. 60H: Reetta Hurske (Fin) 7.79 =NR. 4 x 400: Netherlands 3:25.66 NR (WL) (9 W; #3 nation) (Klaver 50.67, Saalberg 52.27, Peeters 53.14, Bol 49.58). HJ: Yaroslava Mahuchikh (Ukr) 6-6 (1.98). PV: Wilma Murto (Fin) 15-9 (4.80) NR. LJ: Jazmin Sawyers (GB) 22-11¾ (7.00) NR (WL). TJ: Tuğba Danişmaz (Tur) 46-11½ (14.31) NR. SP: Auriol Dongmo (Por) 64-10 (19.76).

Pent: 1. Nafi Thiam (Bel) 5055 WR (old WR 5014 Sułek 6.43 seconds earlier) (8.23, 6-3½/1.92, 51-0/15.54, 21-7½/6.59, 2:13.60);

2. Adrianna Sułek (Pol) 5014 NR (WR at time: old WR 5013 Nataliya Dobrynska [Ukr] ’12) (2, 2 W) (8.21, 6-2¼/1.89, 45-7/13.89, 21-8¾/6.62, 2:07.17).