Is The Men’s 1,500m Going To Be The Most Exciting Race At The Paris 2024 Olympics? - The Running Channel Advertisement

Is The Men’s 1,500m Going To Be The Most Exciting Race At The Paris 2024 Olympics?

BY: Mark Dredge
31 May 2024

Josh Kerr, the British middle-distance runner, was in fifth place at the halfway mark of the Bowerman Mile, run at the Diamond League in Eugene, Oregon, last Saturday. 

The 1,500m World Champion was in the middle of one of the strongest fields ever assembled for a one mile race, and a thrilling preview ahead of this summer’s 1,500m at the Paris Olympic Games.

Ahead of Kerr was Jakob Ingebrigtsen, the 1,500m Olympic Champion. There was Yared Nuguse, the American record holder in the mile, and the fourth fastest miler of all time. Jake Wightman, the 1,500m World Champion from 2022. Around them: Neil Gourley, the 2023 European silver medallist; Lamecha Girma, the steeplechase world record-holder; Abel Kipsang who finished fourth in the 1,500m at the Tokyo Olympics; George Beamish, recently crowned world indoor 1,500m champion.

In the next half lap, Kerr made his move, and took the lead, pulling Ingebrigtsen and Nuguse with him, the others stretching out along the track. 

Kerr held his place for 600m to cross the finish line in 3:45.34, for a new British record, beating Steve Cram’s 39-year-old time. It’s also the fastest mile run in the world this year.

Ingebrigtsen and Nuguse, who finished second and third, each ran their fastest mile of the year. In fourth and fifth, Neil Gourley and Wightman set new PBs in the mile, and made it three Brits – three Scots – in the top five. In total, an incredible nine men ran under 3:50 in the race (and two more were under 3:50.15).

Ingebrigtsen and Wightman are returning from injuries as they build up to the Olympics. Kerr is surging. Nuguse is in great form over distances from 1,500m to 3,000m. And there are other names who will be competitive in the Olympics who weren’t even running the Bowerman Mile, and with that, the men’s 1,500m will surely be one of the top races to watch at the Paris Olympics. 

The big story has been the riveting rivalry between Ingebrigtsen and Kerr, with both men believing they can beat the other, and not being afraid to say that out loud, while also proving their speed by running faster and faster times on the track. But you can bet that Nuguse and Wightman and several other men will be pushing them to become Olympic champion. Whatever happens, it’s a race we’ll definitely be watching. 

Image credit: Howard Lao for The Oregonian/OregonLive

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