This is a fun piece by Stuart Weir on the running family that is the Wightmans.
A running family
It was like a family business in the mixed zone tonight after the men’s 1500m. There was Jake Wightman, talking about how he had come with a chance of a medal and gone away as world champion!
A little further down, there was dad, Geoff, who, as stadium announcer, was commentating on the race. He held it together well until the end when he just said: “That is my son, I coach him, and he is a world champion.” In the mixed zone, Geoff explained that the race plan had been to cover any breaks because “you have no chance if you give Ingebrigtsen or Cheruiyot 3 meters and then try to catch them. It is about taking chances, and some time they come off”.
He was asked several times how he kept his emotions intact when his son was closing in on victory. He said that keeping busy was the secret – looking at the whole race, not just one athlete. Checking the time and seeing who is challenging for medals kept him occupied.
Geoff was no mean runner himself, running in the Commonwealth Games (8th) and European Championships (sixth) in 1990 with a best of 2:13.17, achieved in Berlin.
Then there was Susan Wightman giving interviews as well. Susan, who coached Geoff until he was 16 when Geoff took over, was 12th in the 1988 Olympic Marathon and also competed in the European Championships and Commonwealth Games (10K).
Shame the Ingebrigtsen brothers were not all running to make it a real family day.