The art of doubling gets more complicated at Indoor Championships. Over 3 days, Laura Muir and Jakub Ingebrigtsen will race 3-4 times, twice on Day 1, then, depending on races, 1 to 2 more times. Stuart Weir weighs in on the decision to double by these two fine European athletes.
To double-up or not to double-up, that is the question.
One of the main points of interest on the opening day of the 2019 European Indoor Athletics Championships was the issue of doubling up. It is the nature of a three event that the program is very compressed, without the rest days you get in week long outdoor championships. The morning saw the prelims of the men’s 1500m and 3000m with just over an hour between them. The evening program had the prelims of the women’s 1500m, with the final of the 3000m (no prelim) starting an hour and five minutes after the end of the third 1500m prelim.
Laura Muir won her prelim of the 1500m, saying that it was good preparation for the 3000m final to have a chance to experience the atmosphere in a prelim. It certainly worked as she duly won the 3000m (see separate post).
It is a real risk and reward situation. You have to be in it to win it. But if the 3000m is your better event you risk diminishing your performance by having run a 1500m just over an hour previously. In the event, two athletes doubled up. Laura Muir who won the double two years ago in Belgrade, admitted that she might not have defended both titles if the event had not been in Scotland and Jakob Ingebrigtsen.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who had a gap of an hour and 20 minutes between races, said that he would have preferred the initial timetable when the two events were only 35 minutes apart because he now needed to warm up twice!
Jakob won his 1500m prelim in 3:42, commenting: “I felt OK. Some of the guys were trying to get first and I held them off. I need to go and eat something and just cool down [before the 3000m]”. In the 3000m he was again the fastest qualifier in 7:51.20.
Brother Henrik Ingebrigtsen was ninth fastest in qualifying for the 3000m final, commenting: “That was a tough race mentally. I looked at the screen and I saw the field was stretching quite a bit. I felt safer at the front because in the 1500m heats and the first 3k heat there was quite a lot of pushing and a lot of elbows. The guy in front of me actually lost his shoe after 800m. It has been a couple of months of tough training to get here, so I was hoping to have a good race and I felt like it was a good run to qualify for the final”.
It was not a perfect day for the family as Filip Ingebrigtsen finished first in his prelim only to be disqualified for pushing. He was far from happy, protesting: “I am confused. I donÂ´t understand why I have been disqualified. ThereÂ´s always touching in these races, so I donÂ´t understand. I was running like I always do. I felt good. I felt my body responded better here than in Dusseldorf. IÂ´m angry and confused”.
Jakob now has the luxury of the 3000m on Saturday and the 1500m on Sunday but he will have to warm up twice!