Photo by British Athletics/Getty Images
Jake Wightman struck gold at Hayward Field to win the Men’s 1500m final in stunning fashion in 3:29.23.
The Scot surged clear in the final 200m or so to head Norway’s Olympic champion, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, and Spain’s third-placed Mohammed Katir.
What a moment for Jake, who won the British title in Manchester recently and was fifth in the Doha World Champs.
He becomes the first Brit to win a medal in the Men’s 1500m since Steve Cram won gold in Helsinki in 1983.
Many congratulations to Jake, his family, dad/coach Geoff and all at Edinburgh AC who were involved in his development over a number of years.
Josh Kerr made it two Scots in the top five after being in touch with the leaders on the last lap. Josh clocked a Season Best run of 3:30.60 for fifth place.
Wightman looked strong throughout as he covered moves and, after finishing tenth in the Olympic final last year, delivered a World Lead and PB of 3:29.23 (just a fraction outside the Scottish Record that Josh holds from Tokyo at 3:29.05).
But it wasn’t about times, of course, with Kenyans Timothy Cheruiyot, the 2019 champion, and Abel Kipsang both squeezed out of the medals despite having led the charge earlier.
Jake’s celebrations saw him joined by his parents including dad Geoff, formerly CEO with scottishathletics and on duty in his role as stadium announcer.
Geoff in fact did the announcement as Seb Coe, a family friend of the Wightmans, made the medal presentation just as he did at Gold Coast 2018, when Jake took bronze.
Laura Muir was there, too, as GB and NI saw the medal tally rise only 24 hours after her bronze.
Photo by British Athletics/Getty Images‘It probably won’t sink in until I have retired I don’t think,’ smiled Edinburgh AC athlete Jake, who recently turned 28.
‘It’s absolutely mad. I had such a disappointing year in Tokyo last year. I don’t think people realise how crushing it was to go in with such high expectations and come away hoping for a medal but end up tenth.
‘I just knew coming here I had to take the pressure off and the only thing that could happen was that it was a better run than last year.
‘I got a whiff of it on the last lap. I knew if I was there with 200m to go I could put myself in a position to win it and I was running for my life on that home straight.
‘What’s the point starting a race and not putting yourself in a position not to win it? The opportunity was there. Jakob is so good that I knew at some point he was going to come past so I gave it a go and the closer I got to the line the more likely I felt that wasn’t going to happen.’
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Josh clocked 3:30.60 for a Season’s Best and graciously applauded Jake’s title-winning achievement.
‘I pushed myself to the limits and that was the result today,’ he said.
‘Obviously I’m disappointed to not come away with a medal but Jake Wightman is a true champion and I’m really proud of what he achieved today.
‘It was world record pace for the first 400m and you’ve got to settle in and make good decisions. I think I made those sorts of decisions today but maybe I wasn’t fit enough to run and go win it from the front. But I can’t be disappointed with that because I gave everything.
‘You can see why Jake won the British Champs this year. I knew Jake was good enough to medal last year, and I knew he’s be determined to get it at this one, so it’s awesome for him.
‘That was the run of his life. Even though I didn’t come away with the medal today, the title went to my team, my country, my city and my club. I will celebrate with him.’