The Ingebrigtsen family: The tale of three brothers coached by their father
With multiple medals between the brothers, their family resemble Kardashians in a way. Youngest brother Jakob is the brightest medal prospect at Tokyo.
Norway is generally not the first name that comes to mind when you hear of middle distance races, with countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe having carved a niche for them in the category. However, three athletes seem to have taken the responsibility of pitching Norway on the world map of track events. The three athletes, Filip, Henrik and Jakob, interestingly come from the same family- the Ingebrigtsen family.
The three brothers are coached by their father, Gjert Ingebrigtsen, Ingebrigtsen Sr. attributes this rise to his coaching style. While there have been cases of a parent coaching his/her offspring and inspiring them to attain the highest level, this case is unique in itself, as Ingebrigtsen Sr. held no previous experience in the sport or coaching, and worked in a logistics firm, and also served as an accountant at his wife's hair salon.
Ingebrigtsen Sr. has often made the local headlines for his exceedingly strict methods. However, he has delivered results, with the exploits of his sons making Norway a force to reckon in track fields. He states that there is nobody in his knowledge at Oslo who is good at anything, and attributes it to the democratic attitudes of the athletes. He believes that dictatorship is the best way of athletic coaching, as there is a certain mannerism, requiring quick, accurate decisions. He believes that the lackadaisical, recreational attitude of doing things in Norway is responsible for the drought of athletic medals in Norway. Thorough professionalism, a focused mindset and unconditional commitment to coach's words are the required facets in the eyes of Ingebrigtsen Sr.
It is this unwavering spirit, and single minded purposefulness which has resulted in the ace run of the brothers at the international level. All three of them have been 1500 m champions at the European Championships. The eldest brother, Henrik Ingebrigtsen, is 29-years old, and has won four medals at the European Championships, along with a fifth position finish at the 2012 London Olympics in the 1500 m event. Filip Ingebrigtsen is the middle brother, who has clinched two medals at the European Championships, and attained the rank of World No. 3 in the 1500 m category as of March 2020.Filip, Henrik
Jakob Ingebrigtsen is the youngest, and the brightest of the lot. The 20-year old started training in the professional setup since the age of 8, and has covered a long journey since then. He became the youngest runner to run a mile under four minutes, at the IAAF Diamond League in Eugene, at the age of 16. He is the only athlete in the 84-year history of European Championships to achieve the double feat of being a 1500 m and 5000 m champion, breaking the under-20 European record in both the events. Jakob went a notch higher than his brother, attaining the rank of World No. 2 in the 1500 m category as of March 2020.
The three brothers share all the Norwegian records in the middle distance among themselves, and Jakob Ingebrigtsen is the brightest prospect among them for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. A success at the highest level of sport shall not only fetch more recognition for the Ingebrigtsen family, but also catapult Norway in track events.