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‘I want to be greatest,’ says Ingebrigtsen after European gold


Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen strode to victory in the 1,500 meters at the European Indoor Championships on Friday, breaking the championship record as he retained his title.

The Norwegian crossed the line in 3 minutes and 33.95 seconds ahead of in-form British athlete Neil Gourley who was timed in 3:34.23 while Azeddine Habz of France claimed the bronze medal in 3:35.39.

Ingebrigtsen repeated his success in the championships in Torun, Poland, in 2021.

“It’s important for me to compete in as many races as possible. It’s also important for the fans,” said the 1,500-meter Olympic champion and world champion in 5,000 meters.

“My goal is to become the greatest runner of all time and to succeed I still have to win races.”

World record holder Femke Bol eased through her semi-final of the women’s 400 meters.

The Dutch athlete, who shattered the four-decade-old world record at her national championships last month, won at a stroll in 52.19 seconds and will be a hot favorite for Saturday’s final in Istanbul.

The time was almost three seconds slower than her world record of 49.26.

Her Swiss coach Laurent Meuwly told AFP on the eve of the championships that the 23-year-old Dutch athlete, already a world silver medallist and Olympic bronze medallist in the 400-meter hurdles, had big ambitions.

“She wants to write history, to perhaps become the most bemedalled athlete in Europe, or even more,” he said.

“Her world record is faster than Allyson Felix’s best time outdoors, so it makes you think because Felix is probably the greatest female athlete in history.”

Swiss sprinter Mujinga Kambundji added the European title to her world crown with victory in the 60m in a time of 7 seconds.

That equaled the championship mark which had stood since 1986.

Poland’s Ewa Swoboda claimed silver with 7.09 while Britain’s Daryll Neita completed the podium on 7.12.

Olympic champion Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Portugal claimed victory in the triple jump with 17.60 meters in a season-leading performance.

Meanwhile, Belgium’s double Olympic heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam broke the pentathlon world indoor record with a score of 5,055 points.

“I had the world record in my head,” said Thiam. “But I had to find the right competition and be in the right sort of form.

“It’s a good sign that I was successful without being perfect in all the events.”

Thiam finished ahead of Poland’s Adrianna Sulek (5,014 points) while fellow Belgian, Noor Vidts took bronze (4,823).

The night’s most emotional moment was reserved for Turkey’s Emine Hatun Mechaal who was last in the women’s 3,000 meters.

Mechaal lost numerous members of her family in the recent earthquake in the east of the country which left more than 45,000 people dead.

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