Asbel Kiprop wins the Dream Mile at the 2015 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo (© Mark Shearman)
The Dream Mile is synonymous with the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo, and the organisers of the ExxonMobil Bislett Games have announced a star-studded lineup for this year’s race on 7 June, including Kenya’s world champion Asbel Kiprop.
Kiprop is a multiple winner of the Dream Mile and returns to Oslo with a dual purpose: winning and running a fast time.
He will face opposition from the likes of Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman, who is not only the fastest man in the field with a personal best of 3:47.32 but claimed the world indoor 1000m record during the winter.
Kiprop’s compatriots Silas Kiplagat and Elijah Manangoi are also both major threats.
Kiplagat has run faster than 3:50.00 for the mile on two occasions and has gone below 3:30:00 for 1500m on four separate occasions. Manangoi, meanwhile, was a relative unknown until last season when not only did he surprise by making the Kenyan 1500m team for the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 but then got the silver medal in the Chinese capital.
In his first ever mile race, Manangoi clocked a PB of 3:52.39 in Eugene last weekend in a tactical race. In Oslo, though, he will be looking at something faster than 3:50.00.
Four years ago at the ExxonMobil Bislett Games, an unheralded young Algerian athlete by the name of Taoufik Makhloufi won the 1500m on the pre-programme. What followed in that year is now history as Makhloufi went on to win the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Makhloufi has since established himself as one of the world’s leading middle-distance runners with outstanding 800m and 1500m personal bests of 1:43.53 and 3:28.75 and he is also expected provide stern opposition to the East African contingent.
In addition, the field also contains Czech Republic’s world indoor silver medallist Jakub Holusa and Australia’s Ryan Gregson.
Domestic interest will be provided by Norwegian record-holder Henrik Ingebrigtsen. The 25-year-old from the west of Norway ran his national mile record of 3:50.77 in the Bislett stadium two years ago and would like nothing more than to run faster than 3:50.00 in front of a home crowd.
This year, Ingebrigtsen will face competition from his younger brother Filip, 23, who has already run 3:37.04 this year, making him the second-fastest Norwegian ever in the 1500m; only Henrik has gone faster.
Organisers for the IAAF
2016 IAAF Diamond League calendar
6 May – Doha, QAT
14 May – Shanghai, CHN
22 May – Rabat, MAR
28 May – Eugene, USA
2 Jun – Rome, ITA
5 Jun – Birmingham, GBR
9 Jun – Oslo, NOR
16 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
15 Jul – Monaco, MON
22-23 Jul – London, GBR
25 Aug – Lausanne, SUI
27 Aug – Paris, FRA
1 Sep – Zurich, SUI
9 Sep – Brussels, BEL