Athletics: Teenager Ingebrigtsen wins again as Norway thrive

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GLASGOW (Reuters) – Norway enjoyed a bumper night at the European Indoor Athletics Championships on Saturday as teenager Jakob Ingebrigtsen won the 3,000 meters ahead of his bronze medal-winning brother Henrik and Karsten Warholm stormed to gold in the 400 meters.

Athletics – 2019 European Indoor Athletics Championships – Emirates Arena, Glasgow, Britain – March 2, 2019 Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen celebrates winning the mens 3000m Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Ingebrigtsen, 18, became the youngest male gold medalist in the history of the championships after he led from the front and pulled away over the last two laps to win in seven minutes 56.15 seconds.

The Ingebrigtsen brothers were denied a one-two when Britain’s Chris O’Hare pipped Jakob’s older sibling Henrik on the line to take silver in a photo finish as both clocked 7:57.19, the Norwegian throwing himself over the line in vain.

There were no hard feelings, however, as the talkative Henrik — 10 years Jakob’s senior — picked up a microphone and interviewed O’Hare on television after the race.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen reaffirmed his status as Norway’s latest sporting sensation after winning the 1500 meters and 5000 meters at last year’s European Championships in Berlin.

Warholm, world and European champion in the 400 meters hurdles, equaled the European record as he won the two-lap event in 45.05 seconds without ever looking threatened.

Spain’s Oscar Husillos was second in 45.66 and Dutchman Tony van Diepan third.

It was an emotional evening in the men’s high jump as former world indoor champion Gianmarco Tamberi, plagued by injuries over the last three years, won with a leap of 2.32 meters.

The Italian followed his usual habit of shaving off half of his beard for the final.

“For everyone who always believed in me, for all those who believed I would never succeed again, for all those who have always supported me and for all those who have never even watches athletics — European Indoor champion 2019,” he said on Instagram.

The 26-year-old won the world indoor and European outdoor titles in 2016 but missed the Rio de Janeiro Olympics the same year with an ankle injury and underwent more surgery in early 2017.

Swiss Lea Sprunger, the European 400 meter hurdles champion, led from the front and held off a late challenge from Cynthia Bolingo Mbongo, of Belgium, to win the women’s 400 meters by one-hundredth of a second, in 51.61 seconds.

Poland’s Ewa Swoboda won the women’s 60 meters in 7.09 seconds, pipping Dutch double world champion Dafne Schippers (7.14), while Jan Volko, of Slovakia, won the equivalent men’s event in 6.60 seconds.

Defending champion Richard Kilty, given a special invitation by organizers after failing to make the British team, was fourth.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ian Chadband

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