UK’s Josh Kerr Wins the 1500m at the 2023 World Athletics Championships In a Stunning Performance


In a truly stunning race performance, Great Britain’s Josh Kerr pulled off what can only be described as a triumphant upset last night in the 2023 World Athletics Championships men’s 1500m final to take home the coveted gold medal.

UK’s Josh Kerr certainly made his mark on the global stage in Budapest, Hungary, after putting in not only the physical training with his 1500m workouts, but also the mental training and tactical preparations to hit the 2023 World Athletics Championships with everything he had.

The British runner was likely not the overwhelming pre-race favorite to take home the victory in the men’s 1500m final at the World Championships—that superlative most likely went almost unanimously to Jakob Ingebrigtsen.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen, a Norwegian runner and Olympic champion, is certainly one of the world’s best milers and fastest men’s 1500m runners in the world.

UK’s Josh Kerr Wins the 1500m at the 2023 World Athletics Championships In a Stunning Performance 1

However, although Ingebrigtsen has had another stellar year on the track in 2023, it seems like a little pattern is forming where runners from Great Britain are able to overcome the giant that is Jakob Ingebrigtsen at the World Athletics Championships, even if they have less experience and slower 1500m personal record.

For those who can recall back to last year‘s 2022 World Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, a similar story played out to Josh Kerr’s surprising 1500m victory.

Then, Kerr’s fellow British 1500m runner, 29-year-old Jake Wightman, pulled off a similar upset to win the men’s 1500m event, not only shocking Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, but Brits and UK runners at large with his gutsy performance.

Well, apparently 25-year-old Josh Kerr decided that he, too, had it in him to pull off an upset over the mile Titan, and he decided to go after winning his first international gold medal and a consecutive one in the event for Great Britain.

Kerr took to studying video recordings of the men’s 1500m final at the 2022 World Athletics Championships to learn everything he could about Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s racing style and how fellow Brit, Jake Wightman, pulled off the win.

Josh Kerr, though far less experienced at the 1500m than Jakob Ingebrigtsen, attempted to replicate Wightman’s race plan, which involved a decisive surge into the lead with 200 meters to go in the race.

Reportedly, Kerr predicted that Ingebrigtsen wouldn’t allow the same tactics to be used twice, and lose out on the gold medal for the second year in a row, so Kerr anticipated a tough final push where Ingebrigtsen matched his move.

Therefore, Josh Kerr decided it wouldn’t be enough to just have a potentially feasible race plan if he wanted to optimize his chances of beating Jakob Ingebrigtsen.

So, Kerr took it upon himself to do everything he could in his physical and mental preparation 2023 World Athletics Championships men’s 1500m event, extending beyond just studying the race footage from last year, to things like getting a sports psychologist, working with a nutritionist to help him build out a meal plan, are hiring a chef to prep his meals for the last six weeks leading up to the Track World Championships in Budapest.

After making it through the preliminary and semifinal rounds, Kerr toed the line in last night’s final for the men’s 1500m race—the medal-winning stage of the event.

And in a beautiful race execution, Josh Kerr of Britain did exactly what he set out to do—running a smart race that had him positioned right on Ingebrigten’s shoulder on the back straightaway of the final lap in the World Championship 1500m final.

It was nearly an exact replica of Jake Wightman’s position at the same point in the race one year ago.

Then, just as he had physically and mentally prepared to do, Kerr dropped the hammer with 200 meters to go.

This time, Ingebrigtsen responded to a UK runner trying to overtake him in the final push, picking up his pace and forcing Kerr to go wide through the final turn into the home stretch.

But, Kerr was not deterred.

He called upon his training and meticulously executed his race plan, surging through the final straightaway for the win.

Josh Kerr became the second consecutive runner from Great Britain to win the men’s 1500m race at the World Athletics Championships, finishing in a time of 3:29.38.

Much like in 2022 in Eugene, Ingebrigtsen ended up with the men’s 1500-meter silver medal at the 2023 World Athletics Championships, crossing the line less than half a second behind Kerr, with a time of 3:29.65.

The men’s 1500m Worlds podium was rounded out by Ingebrigtsen’s fellow Norwegian runner, Narve Gilje Nordås, who earned the bronze medal with a finishing time of 3:29.68.

Interestingly, Narve Gilje Nordås is coached by Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s father, Gjert Ingebrigtsen.

Another cool link is that apparently, Josh Kerr and fellow British winner Wightman, both grew up running for the same club in Scotland called the Edinburgh Athletic Club.

Although it is probably apparent that we are wholly impressed by Josh Kerr’s 1500m performance last night, none of this is meant to take away from the excellent races by both Norwegian athletes, Ingebrigtsen and Nordås.

Plus, reportedly, Jakob Ingebrigtsen was a bit under the weather after coming down with a sore throat on Sunday, which he said had mostly resolved but he was still not feeling 100% last night for the 1500m finals.

Moreover, Ingebrigtsen has had an amazing track season in the 1500m/mile distance, and even though last night’s race wasn’t his fastest time for the 2023 track season, his last lap was his fastest bell lap of the year, a blistering 53.76 seconds.

It just wasn’t fast enough to beat the hungry Josh Kerr, who closed the final 400 meters in 52.77 seconds, splitting 26.5 seconds in the last 200m to the finish.

Overall, it was an utterly exciting race, as the men’s 1500m race at the World Championships tends to be.

However, the 2023 World Athletics Championships men’s 1500m event certainly goes down in the books as one of the most thrilling, particularly for fans of track and field in the UK.

You can find full results from the event and all of the future events at the 2023 World Athletics Championships this week here.

You can learn how to watch the World Athletics Championships here.

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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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