Running Beef: Reigning 1,500m World Champ Josh Kerr rips Olympic Champion Jacob Ingebrigtsen On Podcast

Kerr, who outkicked the Norwegian in Budapest but lost to him in Tokyo, slams Ingebrigtsen for having "so many major weaknesses" and being "surrounded by yes-men"

Last Updated:

In the world of middle-distance track running, an ongoing rivalry continues to get heated as we approach the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. 

The tension between the reigning 2023 world 1,500-meter champion, Josh Kerr, and the defending Olympic 1,500m gold medalist, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, has recently escalated on the popular running forum LetsRun as a result of Kerr’s stout opinions.

Kerr’s outspoken remarks on a November edition of the Sunday Plodcast podcast shed light on what he perceives as Ingebrigtsen’s “real major weaknesses.

Josh Kerr and Jakob Ingebrigtsen go head to head at the 2023 Worth Athletics Championships in Budapest
Photo Credit: Eric van Leeuwen

The feud between the Scottsman Kerr and the Norweigian Ingebrigtsen has been ongoing for years, as both have edged one another out on various occasions.

Kerr boasts a 1,500m personal best of 3:29.05 (2021), while Ingebrigtsen has run a slightly faster 3:27:14 (2023).

At this year’s World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Ingebrigtsen placed first in both the heats and the semi-finals. However, in the finals, it was Kerr who edged out Ingebrigtsen by 0.27 seconds, making the Norwegian settle for silver.

During the podcast hosted by Oli Lum and Matt Seddon, Kerr pulled no punches as he dissected Ingebrigtsen’s racing tactics and mindset. 

Kerr expressed his belief that Ingebrigtsen’s success might be hampered by a lack of self-awareness, attributing it to a “pretty high” ego and the influence of an inner circle he described as “yes-men.”

Josh Kerr finishes just ahead of Jakob Ingebrigtsen at the 2023 Worth Athletics Championships in Budapest
Photo Credit: Eric van Leeuwen

According to Kerr, this combination could prove to be a significant obstacle to Ingebrigtsen’s aspirations for winning a second 1500-meter gold at the 2024 Olympic Games.

In a direct challenge, Kerr emphatically stated, “If he doesn’t realize that he’s got some real major weaknesses, then he will not win the 1,500m gold medal next year.” 

Kerr’s criticism delves into Ingebrigtsen’s reliance on pacemakers, highlighting that the Norwegian doesn’t fare as well in races without them. 

Kerr wants Ingebrigtsen to hear these critiques, stating, “I would love for him to be listening to this.”

The Scottish runner pointed to a crucial moment in Ingebrigtsen’s career, specifically the 2021 Olympic gold medal race where Cheruiyot paced him

Kerr sees this as indicative of Ingebrigtsen’s potential vulnerability when running without external pace setters.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen at the 2019 Worth Athletics Championships in Doha
Photo Credit: Eric van Leeuwen

Kerr added, “You’ve won so many races; you ran fantastic all season. You’re just on this; you must be surrounded by so many yes-men that you don’t realize that you have weaknesses.”

Kerr’s criticism extends to Ingebrigtsen’s perception of his abilities when pacemakers are absent. 

He referenced a statement from Ingebrigtsen, where the Norwegian claimed, “When the pacer drops out, I am the pacemaker.” Kerr responded with a dismissive, “Oh, you have no idea.” 

According to Kerr, this overconfidence and lack of self-awareness could potentially serve as the Achilles‘ heel, preventing Ingebrigtsen from securing victory in the highly anticipated Olympic 1,500m event.

Josh Kerr and Jakob Ingebrigtsen navigate the final turn in the 1,500m at the 2023 Worth Athletics Championships in Budapest
Photo Credit: Filip Bossyut

As both athletes prepare for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, Kerr’s challenge injects an extra layer of intrigue into an already intense competition. 

With Kerr, Ingebrigtsen, and other middle-distance talents vying for Olympic supremacy, the 1500-meter event promises to be the highlight of the track and field program. 

Whether Kerr’s bold predictions come to fruition or Ingebrigtsen proves his critics wrong, the track world eagerly awaits the unfolding drama of this athletic feud at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Photo of author
Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.