Paris Games 'walk in the park' after Tokyo, Ingebrigtsen says

olympics02 May 2024 23:45| © Reuters
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Jakob Ingebrigtsen © Gallo Images

Jakob Ingebrigtsen believes his 1500 metres Olympic title defence will be a breeze as long as he avoids illness and injury on the road to Paris, the Norwegian said on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old won gold at the Covid-delayed Tokyo Games in astonishing fashion, cruising past Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot on the final lap to break the tape in an Olympic record time of 3:28.32.

"Obviously the Olympic Games in Tokyo was very different, I would imagine, to the upcoming Games in Paris, with no spectators, a lot of testing and rules with Covid," Ingebrigtsen told European Athletics' "Ignite" podcast.

"If I don't get injured and I don't get sick, I think it's going to be a walk in the park (in Paris)."

He picked up gold in the 5000 metres at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene in the United States and again in Budapest a year later but had no such luck in the 1500 metres.

Britons Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman pushed Ingebrigtsen to the second spot on the podium in the metric mile in 2023 and 2022, respectively, in a pair of remarkable upsets.

"At the end of the day, it's a competition where everybody tries their best to win but sometimes everything doesn't go as planned for everyone," said Ingebrigtsen.