Jakob Ingebrigtsen says he can’t wait to get his teeth into indoor racing as the teenage sensation prepares to make his debut under the Emirates Arena roof at the European Indoor Championships.
The 18-year-old became the youngest-ever European champion outdoors when he scooped 1500m and 5000m gold in Berlin last summer, a high watermark of his incredible rise.
The Scandinavian has plenty of pedigree, including in cross-country competition, but alongside brilliant brothers Henrik and Filip will make his major indoor debut in Glasgow this weekend.
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“This is my first indoor and I’m excited to learn something new,” said Ingebrigtsen, speaking at the Glasgow 2019 pre-event press conference staged at Glasgow’s stunning City Chambers.
“I’ll get something new from it. I think there are more tactics when you’re indoors – I think maybe it will suit me but I’m not sure yet.
“There are lots of good runners I’ll be competing against. My brothers are two of them but there are also others.”
The teenager has a gruelling weekend ahead, competing on all three days of the continental Championships that’s set to play out in front of packed houses and a febrile atmosphere.
His schedule begins Friday at midday in the 1500m and then again at 13:20 over 3000m.
Despite the sheer physical demands that will be placed on him, Ingebrigtsen has not let his thoughts stray from plotting his path to double glory.
With a duel with local favourite Andrew Butchart – returning from injury to compete on home soil – in store over the longer distance, Jakob can’t wait for the tactical battle that’s sure to ensue.
“This weekend it’s definitely tactics over speed,” explained the youngster.
“I know what shape I’m in. I think I can keep up with the others if it turns into a faster race.
“When I get on the start line I never think I’m unbeatable. You just have to focus and be prepared to winm.
“That’s the only thing that matters. I’m not here to come second or third.”
Unlike Jakob the eldest of the three brothers Henrik, 28, is a proven force indoors having bagged 3000m bronze at the European indoors in Prague in 2015 and silver in Belgrade last time out.
It sums up the success of the siblings that Henrik can tongue in cheek refer to himself as the weakest of the three, despite claiming 5000m silver behind Jakob in Berlin.
“I am definitely the weakest link,” joked the Stavanger star.
“If Jakob takes a medal in the 3k then that is the most important thing.
“For me I won’t be happy if I don’t advance to the final. I’m just hoping to do a good race and that my body feels good.”
Jakob and Henrik will take on both 1500m and 3000m events but Filip, 25, will only compete in the shorter discipline.
He’s ranked eight on this year’s European list thanks to finishing third in Dusseldorf behind Jakob and world-record holder Samuel Tefera.
“I haven’t really studied the start lists, but Marcin (Lewandowski) is always strong and is an indoor specialist.
“Jakob is very strong just now. He is very fit and will not need to run at his best to get to the final so will be able to save himself.”