The event’s list of winners reflect the recent history of middle distance running and kindles the amount of worldwide interest that this great race deserves. Previous winners Walker, Coe, Ovett, Cram, Morceli and El Guerrouj are names that are synonymous with sport at its most elite level. Indeed the British trio of Seb Coe, Steve Ovett and Steve Cram all broke the World Record contesting the “Dream Mile”.
Again a top quality field has been assembled, headed by last year’s winner, the reigning Olympic and World Champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya. Kiprop is this year looking to emulate the feats of another “Dream Mile” winner Sebastian Coe who managed to successfully defend his Olympic 1500m crown, some 28 years ago. Kiprop has already shown that he is very well prepared by running 1:45.91 for 800m during the Australian summer and has recently established a new personal best of 3:29.78 in Doha.
As always the “Dream Mile” will feature a field of highest quality, World In-door Champion, Morocco’s Abdalatti Aguider, former World 1500m Champion, Said Kamel of Bahrain and the current European 800m Champion Marcin Lewdowski of Poland. The depth of the competition is as one expects in the Dream Mile with Mekkonen (Ethiopia), Komen, Kiprop (both Kenya) and Badderly (Great Britain) all having personal bests under 3 minutes 50 seconds for the four laps, whilst Kiprop and the Morrocans Laalou and Iguider have all broken 3.30 for the 1500m.
However in a packed Bislett stadium, all Scandinavian eyes will be on Nor-way’s new national record-holder at 1500m, Henrik Ingebrigtsen. The twentyone-year-old recently ran 3:36.39 in the Payton Jordan Classic in Palo Alto, USA and will be anxious to stay on the fast pace that highlights the “Dream Mile”. His ambition will be for another Norwegian record and close to the traditional high standard of 3.50! Over the years many athletes have benefitted from the fast pace and enthusiastic support from the Bislett crowd. This year they will try to lift a local athlete to new levels; they will be in their finest voice in support of young Ingebrigtsen.