What you need to know:
- The Norwegian team made of Ingebrigtsen brothers, Henrik, Filip and Jakob, and Per Svela and Narve Gilje Nordås, will be doing the 2,000m race at Bislett Stadium, Oslo while “Team Cheruiyot” will be at the Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi
- Henrik, 29, said that walking into Bislett for the first time since last year, felt a little bit nervous
- Henrik said they are planning to play it safe, not to start off too fast as they take advantage of their speed and endurance
“Team Ingebrigtsen” captain Henrik Ingebrigtsen has warned that they are on fire and ready to go against “Team Cheruiyot” in the virtual Maurie Plant Memorial Race on Thursday night.
The Norwegian team made of Ingebrigtsen brothers, Henrik, Filip and Jakob, and Per Svela and Narve Gilje Nordås, will be doing the 2,000m race at Bislett Stadium, Oslo while “Team Cheruiyot” will be at the Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi.
The race that is part of the events on card during the “Impossible Games”, is in the memory of Maurie Plant, who was one of the most significant figures in Australian and world athletics. Plant died on January 19 this year.
All 10 runners will go at once, and three athletes must finish from each team. The team with the fastest cumulative time from their top-three runners wins. There will also be an individual winner.
Henrik said even though it will present a different atmosphere that they are used to at the normal Bislett, they will have to change their mind set into a competition with race mode lockdown.
“This is a little bit different but we must work within ourselves and mind set,
“Henrik said during the “Impossible Games” press conference on Wednesday evening in Oslo.
“It presents a good mix of feelings since we haven’t been into races in a long time but we feel ready to race again since we still got a little bit in training mode,” explained Henrik.
Henrik, 29, said that walking into Bislett for the first time since last year, felt a little bit nervous. “We are already getting excited. It will be strange running in a stadium without fans but we won’t notice it when the gun goes off,” said Henrik, the 2012 European 1,500m champion and 2018 Ostrava Continental Cup 3,000m bronze medallist.
Henrik said they are planning to play it safe, not to start off too fast as they take advantage of their speed and endurance.
“We have the ability to run steady laps but it’s at the last 500m that anyone of us who is strong shall go. We can’t make deals in the changing room on who shall win hence it will be everyone for himself in the last lap. Let whoever will have some energy remaining win,” said Henrik, adding that the first three of the five-lap race will be crucial.
Jakob, 19, said they will be aiming for a fast race. “It will be fun to see how we do it especially in the last lap. I shall use the mind set when going into One Mile race (1,500m),”explained Jakob, the 2018 European 1,500m and 5,000m champion.
Jakob said there are no rules on who will pull first noting that everyone will be targeting to break the European 2,000m record time of 4:51.39 held by Steve Cram, who will be commentating on the race.
Watching the Kenyans prepare for the race, Jakob said they look serious hence they will have something to compare themselves to during the race.
“We realise that they have been trying their best to run as fast as they can. We hope to match their prowess and be a little bit faster. It will be a little bit nervous looking at Bislett again,”Jakob said. “For me it will be a good thing and a special race running against two world champions.”
Filip said it felt good to race again and that he is excited and ready to compete.
“We had a lovely team chart with Team Cheruiyot and I can tell you they really want to win this one,”Filip said. “We are also eager to compare and gauge ourselves and that is the beauty about track and field."
Svela said he is eager to take advantage of the professional set up in his team to improve himself as Nordås predicted a tough battle even within the team.
Cheruiyot welcomed the Norwegian challenge, saying they are ready for the race.
"We can only wait to see how the race goes, this being a new race for us," said Cheruiyot.
"It's bound to be tough with more laps on card compared to 1,500m. We shall combine we and see who will be stronger in the last lap," said Manang'oi.