Kerr-Ingebrigtsen rivalry 'good for sport'

Josh Kerr and Jakob Ingebrigtsen competing at the 2023 World Athletics Championships
Josh Kerr, left, beat Jakob Ingebrigtsen to World Championship 1500m gold [Getty Images]

Diamond League Eugene

Venue: Hayward Field at the University of Oregon. Date: Saturday, 25 May Time: 21:00 BST

Coverage: Watch live on BBC Sport website, iPlayer and app.

Olympic 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen says his rivalry with Britain’s world champion Josh Kerr is “good for the sport”.

Scot Kerr, 26, stunned the Norwegian favourite to take victory at the World Championships in Budapest last year.

It led to barbed comments between the pair - Ingebrigtsen calling Kerr “just the next guy” while the Scot hit back saying his rival had “major weaknesses”.

The pair face off for the first time since that race at the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, when they will compete in the mile race.

Fellow Briton Jake Wightman - who similarly beat Ingebrigtsen at the 2022 Worlds - is also in the line-up.

For Ingebrigtsen, it will be a first race of 2024 following an Achilles injury.

At a news conference on Friday before the Diamond League event the athletes were asked about their relationship.

"If we take a step back and look at it, it's good for the sport," said Ingebrigtsen, citing the “hype and attention” around their rivalry and how it could generate attention.

Kerr, however, says he doesn’t care about ruffling up rivals.

“We are fierce competitors who both want to be the best in the world and that's not going to change,” he said.

"I'm here trying to be the best in the world. I showed I could do that last year and I want to continue that pursuit.

"If that annoys people or ruffles up competitors I am sure it will because the whole world is trying to do what I am doing.

"I don't really care how this race affects anyone else. It's going to affect my season and my career and that's the selfish way that I look at my racing because it's an individual sport."

Meanwhile, American sprinter Sha'carri Richardson will run her first 100m of the Olympic year at the event.

The world champion will be up against a field which includes Jamaican great Elaine Thompson-Herah, a five-time Olympic gold medallist.