Deji Ogeyingbo wrote this piece on his thoughts on the Oslo Diamond League meeting, one of the most iconic in our sport.
Ingebrigtsen’s Genius and Bol’s Invisibility: 5 Things I Learned from the Oslo Diamond League
The Diamond League remains a 14-meet psychodrama of moments, memories, and breathtaking athletics action, and the city of Oslo, which has seen 25 world records fall since its foundation in 1965, hosted the fifth meeting of the season.
The Bislett Games might not have witnessed three world records fall, but it gave us yet another tale of yore for generations to come. Here are some of the major talking points from the Oslo Diamond League.
1. Yomif Kejelcha and Jacob Kiplimo take the men’s 5000m to the wire
Very rarely does one see a 5000m race go down to the wire, but here in Oslo, fast-rising stars Jacob Kiplimo and Yomif Kejelcha gave us a race to savor. Both runners left it all on the line, and you would have thought they were fighting for an Olympic Gold. Still, the fans loved it.
Yomif Kejelcha battles Jakob KIplimo to the wire in the 5000m, photo by Thomas Windestam for Diamond League AG
photo by photo by Thomas Windestam for Diamond League AG
Maybe a share of the spoils would have sufficed, but there had to be a winner as Kejelcha edged it with a meeting record, world lead, and Personal Best of 12:41.73. It was so nip and tuck that Kiplimo was given the same time, too.
Races like this spur the meet organizers on to give the long-distance races more viewing time as they once again showed why a quality field in such an event can give premium content for the sport and viewers. Last week, Faith Kipyegon got the fans and viewers on their feet with her world record over the 5000m.
Ultimately, runners know that a lot is at stake, and showing their hands now gives them a much-needed impetus going into the world championships in Budapest.
2. Women’s 100m gets more clarity with Ta Lou’s world lead.
Before today, the women’s sprint was one of the most difficult battles to call this season, having seen two different winners so far in 2023. Here in Oslo, Ivorian legend Marie-Josee Ta Lou showed moved to the top of the world list with a commanding victory over women’s 200m world champion Shericka Jackson. Ta Lou surged to the front after the 40m mark, and there was no stopping her from there.
The win was as convincing as it comes as the Ivorian clocked a world lead of 10.75s, shaving 0.01s from the world-leading time of Sha’Carri Richardson who won the first diamond league 100m race in Doha in May. We came within whiskers of seeing them both race at the Los Angeles Grand Prix in late May, but they both pulled out of the final.
Marie Jose Ta-Lou, photo by photo by Thomas Windestam for Diamond League AG
This win here showed they both are front runners alongside Jackson for the title in Budapest in August, as they are the have are the only ones to run inside 10.80s officially this year. A lot can still change, really. Jackson finished a modest third with 10.98s here and will look to make amends in subsequent races.
We are yet to see the defending champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce race this year. What sort of form she would go into the worlds with remains to be seen. Then there is the fledgling Julien Alfred, who has set the NCAA alight this year and might just throw the cats amongst the pigeons.
3. Jacob Ingebrigtsen delights the home crowd with a performance for the ages in the men’s 1500m
For a long time, we have known that Jakob Ingebrigtsen will be a great runner. At 22, he already has an Olympic 1500m Gold and World 5000m Gold in his pocket. Just last week, he set a new world best over two miles at the Paris Diamond League. On his home turf, the Norwegian chomped at the world record over the 1500m.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen runs 3:27.95, ER, leading 8 men to PBs, several NRs! photo by Thomas Windestam for Diamond League AG
In a breathtaking display of speed and determination, Ingebrigtsen came tantalizingly close to shattering Hicham El Guerrouj’s longstanding world record that turns 25 years old next month. At the Oslo Diamond League meet, the 21-year-old phenom blazed through the track, clocking an astonishing time of 3:27.95.
Ingebrigtsen’s electrifying performance not only solidified his status as one of the brightest stars in the world of athletics but also sparked a renewed sense of excitement and anticipation for a potential new era in middle-distance running.
4. Femke Bol might just give Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone
Femke Bol got the track action underway in Oslo and as she did all through this year, the Dutch star broke yet another record. This time, it was another effortless win that saw her break her own meeting record and write a new one at 50.30s. The win was her 16th consecutive victory over the distance in the Diamond League circuit.
Femke Bol runs 52.30 in 400m hurdles, photo by photo by Thomas Windestam for Diamond League AG
Granted, world and Olympic champion Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone hasn’t competed over the distance against Bol, but her upward trajectory over the distance is one you can’t overlook. Her Personal Best currently stands at 52.03s and judging by the records she broke this year indoors, you can’t put it beyond her breaking 52s.
Bol has changed her stride pattern this year, running with 14 strides (instead of her usual 15) to the first seven barriers, and it remains to be seen how far that with take her. For now, she’s soaring.
5. Yulimar Rojas is living her own world.
Yulimar Rojas, the exceptional Venezuelan athlete, made a triumphant comeback to the Diamond League as she secured victory in the women’s triple jump event. Displaying her remarkable skill, Rojas delivered a stunning opening leap of 14.91m (2.1m/s), which proved to be her best performance of the night.
Yulimar Rojas is jumping well, photo by Thomas Windestam for Diamond League AG
At this point, it would be very difficult for any athlete to steal a match on her and she’s just going through the motions. In Oslo, Rojas served us another reminder of her greatness.