Jakob Ingebrigtsen won the 5000 meters at the World Championships

In recent years, Jacob Ingebrigtsen has collected a small constellation of tattoos on his arms and legs. Crescent near the right bicep. Compass on left shoulder. Palm tree and dog’s face above right knee. Snake on left thigh. Tattoos are a source of admiration for athletics fans.

However, Ingebrigtsen rarely, if ever, spoke about them publicly.

“Everybody asks me about them, but I usually don’t say anything about the importance,” he said in an interview last month while he was training with his older brother Henrik in Flagstaff, Ariz. “The funny thing about athletics is that it’s normal. A fan is like a Ferrari fan. They are purists. They want the sport to be what it used to be: white singlets, split shorts and moustaches.”

Do they want everyone to look like Steve Prefontaine?

“Basically,” Jacob Ingebrigtsen said. “They don’t want to see any changes: no new shoes, no lights, no new tracks.”

He continued: “Have you heard of Ferrari owners? If they change their cars, the company will remove them from the list. Because they don’t want anything to do with changing their cars. They are not allowed to buy another car from them. That’s how it is in athletics.”

So is tattooing a rebellious medium?

“In a way,” he said. “It’s also a way to express yourself and say, ‘We don’t look at runners in the 80s and 90s as our heroes. We don’t want to be like them. They are fast and have most of the records. But we want to break records.’ “

The 21-year-old Ingebrigtsen has always had his own way, and that was the case at the World Championships in Eugene, OR. He told people what he thought—diplomacy be damned—and did what he wanted.

He clearly wanted to win the 5000m final on Sunday. Dressed in her Norwegian speed suit, with half of the track drenched in early evening sunlight behind her, Ingebrigtsen walked away with her first world championship, winning in 13 minutes 9.24 seconds.

“My race plan?” He said before pausing to consider the question. “I just wanted to win. And I wanted to win as much as possible. I didn’t want to finish in a sprint because then some people would say it was a fluke or a tactical race. But today was not a tactical race. I just won. I was the better runner.”

Ingebrigtsen was motivated after finishing second in the 1,500 last week. After that race, he said he was “disappointed” and “embarrassed” by his result.

In the 5,000, he was out for redemption against a field that included Jacob Kropp of Kenya, who finished second, and Oscar Chelimo of Uganda, who was third. American Grant Fisher was sixth, while Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, who holds the world record in the event, dropped to ninth.

Ingebrigtsen appeared so confident that he did something unconventional: he turned his back twice to try to catch water from the charging station. After the first attempt, he had more success on the next lap.

“In the heat, I realized it was too dry,” he said. “And if I felt good enough and the pace wasn’t too bad, then I thought, ‘Why not?'”

He set his will with about two laps remaining, pushing his pace to the point where everyone else was suffering in his wake. He waved his index finger when he finished alone.

“I didn’t want anyone to doubt who was the best runner tonight,” he said. “And if you can make the race boring, that’s a good achievement.”

Its range is a sight to behold. Last month, she thrilled fans in Oslo by running the mile in 3:46.46, the fastest anyone has run the mile in nearly 21 years.

He is now the world champion in the 5000. how is it possible Last month, Henrik described their training as a series of bowls with small holes in the bottom.

The first cup is the base cup, which they fill with kilometers to create a foundation. When that cup is full, they move on to the endurance cup, miles at threshold pace—about half-marathon pace. But they still have to pay attention to the first cup that leaks. (Stay tuned.) When the first two bowls are full, they move on to the third bowl, with faster workouts for 5,000-meter training. And then the fourth glass for 1500. Here’s the thing: all four bowls must be maintained throughout the training cycle.

“Filling the last cup is a lot more fun because it’s track sessions and speed,” Henrik said. “But I think Jacob is much more consistent than many of his rivals because the first cup is always full. The second cup is always full.”

In the closing stages of Thursday’s 5,000 qualifier, Jacobs used his arms to encourage the crowd to show some enthusiasm as he neared the finish line. He was later asked about the hot weather forecast for Sunday’s final. He seemed to be smiling under his mask.

“Hot weather is only happy weather!” Jacob said.

Doubt him. He knew what was coming.

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