Stuart Weir wrote this piece on Scottish athlete Jake Wightman, who took gold in 1,500 meters in Eugene, bronze at 1,500 meters in Birmingham and silver at 800 meters in Munich. A most excellent adventure for Jake!
Full set of medals for Jake Wightman
Jake Wightman joined Laura Muir in an exclusive Scottish club by winning medals at all three championships this summer.
His record was:
19 July World Championship 1500m 1st 3:29.23
6 August Commonwealth Games 1500m 3rd 3:30.53
21 August European Championship 800m 2nd 1:44.91
Yet the achievement was tinged with disappointment: “I really wanted to win it, so my initial thought are that I did not quite get the gold. I gave it a good go. But if you had said at the start of a long season that I would come away with silver here on the top of two other medals, I would have taken it.
I came into this really wanting to add to my world 1500m title just because I feel like that would’ve been a great way to end the season. I felt in shape to do it, and I got very close, but I’ve got gold, a silver, and a bronze on the season, so at least I’ve got a full set.
“I am proud of that because I could easily have got the gold in Eugene and nothing on the back of it. I will have fond memories and probably forget how tough it has been to come back each time and re-motivate.
With regard to his tactics, he explained: “I felt that I was strong enough in the final straight, so I wanted to put myself in a better position than in the previous rounds and get into the lead early on, but Mariano [Garcia] was so strong that I could not quite get past him. It’s frustrating when you never quite reach him and get past because if I had, I would have had a good chance of winning”.
Having medaled at 800 and 1500 this summer made him keen to try to double up: “I haven’t looked at the schedule for Budapest, but if the 15 is before the 8, then I would love to double up. Because I have a wild card for the Worlds, I can do 800 at UK trials.
“A lot of my training compliments both my 1500m and 800m. I’ve always taken pride in how good my 800s can be, and that’s why I’ve come into champs like this, feeling like I can be competitive. I believed I could win that race, and to come away with silver is still a nice end to the season. I’d have loved it to be gold, but if you’d have told me this is what my season would’ve ended with, an 800m silver, I’d be very pleased with it”. Don’t be misled by his “end of season” comment as he still has a few races to do.
Finally, I asked him to assess the year through Scottish eyes as there had been 16 medals for Scotland across the three championships. “I think it’s expected from the years we have had previously. We had shown that there was potential for having Scottish vests on the podium at Commies, which we did – Eilish, Laura, Jemma, Josh, Neil Butchie [Andrew Butchart]. We have shown that we can come and get medals and that is not the end of it”.