Jake Wightman won the gold medal in the Men’s 1,500 meters in the Oregon 22 World Athletics Championships. It was a huge thing for Team GBR. This was the first time a Brit won the World Champs since Steve Cram’s victory in 1983!
Jake Wightman wins World Championship 1500m
The men’s 1500m, perhaps alongside the 100m races, is the most eagerly awaited race in the program. The field was stacked. Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Olympic champion, Timothy Cheruiyot, reigning World Champion, Abel Kipsang. Winner of 10 races this year. The list goes on.
It was a cracking race, with Jake Wightman taking on leader Jakob Ingebrigtsen with 200 to go and having the speed and strength to see it home in 3:29.23 WL.
Jake Wightman said afterward: “It probably won’t sink in until I have retired, I don’t think. It’s mad. I had such a disappointing year in Tokyo last year. I don’t think people realize 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.
“I gave it a go, and the closer I got to the line, the more likely I felt that wasn’t going to happen. I have given up so much to get to this point, and it makes everything of it worth it. I learned last year that the rounds were a lot of more tactical than you thought, so I tried to be under the radar going through.
“We have had so many athletes over the past few years pushing the standard of British athletics in my event. What Josh did last year was such a big thing for all of us. It showed that you can be brought up in the Scottish and British systems and get to the top. I never gave up on my confidence to get to this point. I am so glad that I have been able to do what I have dreamed of since I was a kid”.
See my video interview with Jake at https://youtu.be/7Cohe7mSTQY
Men – 1,500 metres
- Jake Wightman (GBR) won gold in the 1,500 metres, running 3:29.23, a world leading mark in 2022. It is the 2nd fastest 1,500 at the World Championship, after 3:27.65 by Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) in 1999.
- Wightman’s gold medal was the 1st for Great Britain in the 1,500 since Steve Cram won the inaugural World Championship at Helsinki in 1983.
- Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway took the silver medal. He led most of the first 3 laps alongside Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya, but Wightman passed Ingebrigtsen near the end of the backstretch on the final lap.
- This was the 2nd medal for Norway in the 1,500 and the 2nd medal for the Ingebrigtsen family, as Jakob’s brother, Filip Ingebrigtsen, won bronze in 2017.
- Spain went 3-4 with Mohamed Katir getting the bronze medal and Mario García placing 4th.
- Spain had previously won 3 silver medals in the 1,500, in 1987, 1993, and 1997.
- The overall pace was quite quick, as best marks-for-place at the World Championships were set for 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th places.
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