– It’s really unreal. If someone said I would reach the World Cup final before this season… then I don’t know what I would do, a nearly goalless Håvard Bentdal Ingvaldsen told NRK.
After several minutes of intense drama, the 20-year-old Norwegian was able to enjoy the World Cup final on his World Cup debut. But as NRK commenter Jann Post put it:
– This is not the way he wanted to go to the final.
Fall like flies
Because it looked dark for Ingvaldsen after he ran to third in the semi-finals. After a demonstration of strength in the heat trials, expectations for Ingvaldsen were perhaps unrealistic, and things have gone a little slower this time around for the 20-year-old.
After crossing the finish line in 44.70, he relied on making his move in time. “It must be hard,” says mother and coach Mari Ann Bentdal.
– He has to bite his nails and stuff. Can it survive? Asked Jann Post from the commentator’s place.
It doesn’t seem to last long.
Because in the following heat, heat number three, Steven Gardiner, for many the biggest favorite in the entire practice, darted away from the competition. He appeared to be cruising to an incredible win, but right before the run, something went wrong for the man who represents the Bahamas.
Suddenly it stopped completely. Gardiner started jumping and limp and it was clear he was injured. He lay down while the others continued towards goal. But they simply didn’t have Gardiner’s time, nor did they have him to fight. As a result, the finishing time was lower – in Ingvaldsen’s favour.
– What a drama. Of course we feel sorry for them lying here, exclaimed a jubilant Jann Post in the commentary booth.
His fellow commentator, NRK athletics expert Vebjørn Rodal, described the events in the third round as “shocking”. Gardiner was taken away in a wheelchair, clearly marked.
Gardiner wasn’t the only one injured during the third heat. So did Zakithi Nene from South Africa.
Ingvaldsen is thus ready for the final.
– Strange it happened, I don’t know why it happened. It was a very intense heat, but it was good for us,” Ingvaldsen told NRK after the race.
Expectations for Håvard Bentdal Ingvaldsen were high after the demonstration of power he delivered in the hot trial a few days ago. He announced to NRK that he would be pushing from the start in the semifinals as well. Some are talking about whether he will set a new European record.
That’s a European record, but not for Ingvaldsen.
In the same heat as Ingvaldsen, Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith ran to a new European record with a time of 44.26. He thereby erased Thomas Schönlebe’s German record. It was set in 1987.
For Ingvaldsen, it’s a little more difficult.
– Not a good race. It was a bit more difficult for Ingvaldsen from the start, said NRK commentator Jann Post, who also pointed out that Ingvaldsen had put in the second best race of his career.
– He is in the top 400 meters in the world. Perhaps it was too hopeful that he would run another race at 44.39, but he certainly did not disappear, added NRK expert Vebjørn Rodal.
Here you can see the race towards Ingvaldsen.
Either way, it ended as well as it could for Ingvaldsen, who will contest the WC final on Thursday.
– It’s really big. Håvard was in the WC final. It’s really big. We know what he’s made of. It only needs to seep in a little. Absolutely fantastic, Mari Ann Bentdal told NRK from the stands.
On Thursday at 21.35 you can see Ingvaldsen in action in the WC final. Now he will spend the next few days finding strength.
– I had to go down quite a bit in the dungeons today, but I just had to reset and do the best I could, emphasized Ingvaldsen.
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