Justin Lagat wrote this piece on Brussels DL, the Allianz Memorial Van Damme, which was held on September 8, 2023. 

Athletic fans in Brussels expected to see at least one world record tonight at the Allianz Memorial Van Damme, and they got it. And, what a fantastic run by Jakob Ingegrigtsen to set a new world record in the men’s 2000m! The 24-year-old world record of 4:44.79 that was set by Morroco’s Hicham El Guerrouj on 7th September 1999 was finally smashed after Ingebrigtsen ran a spectacular time of 4:43.13 tonight.

The first 1000m was crossed in 2:22.28 as Kenya’s Abel Kipsang was the only one hanging behind the Norwegian superstar. However, the 22-year-old Olympic and World Champion began to extend his lead on the second-last lap and soon he was running alone against the wavelights at the front.

With 150m to go, he was already ahead of the world record schedule and the crowds in the stadium were on their feet, cheering wildly. He crossed the finish line in his trademark style of pointing one finger at the sky. There was a completely different race almost 80m behind him as Kenya’s Reynold Cheruiyot came to finish second in a new national record of 4:48.14, breaking a 25-year-old record. Australia’s Stewart McSweyn finished third in a new area record of 4:48.77. There were several other national records and personal best times recorded by runners behind the top three.

Elsewhere, Laura Muir Triumphed in the women’s 1500m. The first lap of the race was relatively fast as they crossed it in 61.78. However, it slowed down again on the penultimate lap as the field left a gap on the pacemakers. It led to a crowded leading pack on the last lap. With about 250m to go, Laura Muir and Ciara MaGeean were already clear ahead of the rest of the field. It was by a slight margin that Muir crossed the finish line in 3:55.34 to emerge victorious ahead of McGeean’s 3:55.87, which was a PB and a new national record for Ireland. Kenya’s Nelly Chepchirchir ran the last 200m strongly but did that when it was already too late from way back in the field to finish third in 3:56.93.

In a tightly contested men’s 800m race, the pack crossed 400m in 48.28. It was Algeria’s Djamel Sedjati who still had a deadly finishing kick in the end as he sprinted to win the race in 1:43.60 ahead of Yanis Meziane in 1:43.94 and Tshepiso Masalela in 1:44.03, the two registered personal best times behind the winner.

The women’s 5000m race progressed into an interesting climax with four runners remaining in a single file leading the pack with five laps to go. Lilian Rengeruk and Medina Eisa would break away in the last stages of the race, but Nozomi Tanaka began to close their gap as they came to the bell. Regeruk took a glance at the screen in the stadium and seemed to have been jolted by the Japanese’s move as she quickly engaged a new gear with 300m to go and created a gap at the lead before winning the race in 14:26.46. Eisa and Tanaka followed in 14:28.94 and 14:29.18, respectively, with Tanaka’s time being a new PB and National record.

Daniel Ebenyo paced the second half of the men’s 10,000m before winning it in a new personal best time of 26:57.80, an indication that he is still in good form heading to the Riga World Road Running Championships on the 1st of October.