Photo via British Athletics
Oslo is often seen as the spiritual home of middle distance running, and on Thursday night, |Jake Wightman added his name to the list of famous British winners.
In years gone by the likes of Seb Coe and Steve Ovett have scored victories and set world records in the Norwegian capital; more recently Laura Muir bagging a metric mile victory.
Where these performances have been somewhat expected, Wightman’s run was quite the contrary, the young Scot kicking away from a world class field round the final bend before holding on for a famous victory.
The former European Junior champion not only bagged the biggest win of his career to date, but a new personal best of 3.34.17 – only hours after being named by British Athletics for the Euro Team Champs in France.
That time takes Jake above Chris O’Hare in the Scottish all-time rankings list. The top four now reads:
John Robson 3.33.83; Graham Williamson 3.34.01; Jake Wightman 3.34.17; Chris O’Hare 3.34.35.
After the Oslo win, an elated Wightman said: ‘It’s total shock; I only got in the race on Monday and felt pretty lucky to be in it. I knew a PB was on the cards but I thought they would run away from me.
‘When it got to 200m to go and I was still in it, I thought I’d better try to win it. I managed to pull away but was scared that someone might catch me.
‘My race plan was to start off pretty settled because I knew if they went off hard they would come back. I am usually quite strong on the last lap so I put all my money on that – to come through on the last 300m. I felt pretty good on the home straight so I just about got away with it.’
Wightman’s teammate Charlie Grice also had a strong running, posting a time of 3.37.78 for sixth.
Meanwhile, in the women’s 800m Lynsey Sharp improved her season’s best to 2.00.41, to cross the line in eighth place in a strong race won by South Africa’s Caster Semenya.