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Deja vu for Ingebrigtsen as Kerr takes world 1500m gold

Britain’s Josh Kerr produced a stunning sprint to the line to claim gold and inflict world championship defeat on Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the men’s 1500m at the World Athletics Championships on Wednesday.

Kerr, who won Olympic bronze in Tokyo when Ingebrigtsen claimed gold, turned on the afterburners down the home straight in Budapest to hold off the Norwegian and win in 3min 29.38sec.

It was deja vu for Ingebrigtsen who had to settle for silver, just as he did at the world championships in Eugene last year when he was beaten by another Briton, Jake Wightman, in a similar close finish.

Another Norwegian, Narve Gilje Nordas, took the bronze medal in 3:29.68, three hundredths of a second behind Ingebrigtsen.

“It is quite an overwhelming experience,” Kerr, who hails from the same Edinburgh club as Wightman, told the BBC.

“I am so proud of myself, I am so proud of my team and my family.

“I just threw my whole last 16 years into the sport at that last 200 metres and didn’t give up until the end.”

Kerr added: “I just did what I always do, throw everything I have at it and see if it breaks my way.

“As I came around the bend I thought I have to give everything I have.

“In the last 30 metres, I thought I want this so badly, I don’t care how much pain I’m in, I’m going to do everything to get to the finish line first.”

Ingebrigtsen, the dominant male performer over 1500m this season, was magnanimous in defeat.

“All credit to Kerr, he had a good race but I feel a little bit unlucky not being able to do what I have been doing the whole season, especially as it is the world championships final,” the 22-year-old said.

“It is what it is, of course I am disappointed. I tried to give 100 percent but it is not easy when you are not feeling 100 percent. 

“I had been on training camp for three, almost four months, with minimal social life and contact with the rest of the world but in the warm-up today and in the semi-final I was a little bit dry in my throat.

“It got worse last two days and then a little bit better when I woke up this morning.”

He said he would definitely also run in the 5,000m “but I do not know how will it go”.

Kerr’s kick

Abel Kipsang took up the early lead at an unforgiving pace and Ingebrigtsen settled on the Kenyan’s shoulder.

The Norwegian moved smoothly to the front at the 500m mark and turned the screw with a kilometre still to run.

He took the pack through the bell in front but Kerr moved swiftly into second and then kicked with 200 metres to run.

Ingebrigtsen kicked back and the pair were neck-and-neck as they entered the home straight.

A raucous near-capacity crowd in the Hungarian capital were on their feet as the pair closed on the finish line.

Ingebrigtsen had come into the final in imperious form, having improved his European record to 3:27.95 in the Oslo Diamond League in June and then to 3:27.14 in Chorzow last month.

Kerr, however, proved the stronger finisher when medals were on the line, edging ahead for gold to leave Ingebrigtsen ruing another race where he missed out on gold due to a British rival’s superior tactical nous.

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