This race totally lived up to the hype! Stuart Weir wrote this piece on the CG Men’s 1,500 meters which was undecided until the final centimeters!
Oliver Hoare wins the 1500
Some of the athletics have been a bit average this week but not the eagerly awaited Men’s 1500. Could Jake Wightman, running for Scotland, add the Commonwealth to his world title?
The two Kenyans, Timothy Cheruiyot and Abel Kipsang, led through halfway, followed by Oliver Hoare and Elliot Giles. At the bell, Wightman and Hoare were on the shoulders of the two Kenyans. With 200 meters to go, Wightman took the lead and started the long run for home – hadn’t we seen that somewhere before?
This time the ending was different, with first Cheruiyot passing Wightman before a late lunge by Hoare left everyone looking at the scoreboard to see who had got it. It was Hoare, but only just.
The three medalists gave their assessments of the race.
Oliver Hoare: “It was a very fast race, but I have been training for a fast race. It was just about kicking at the right time. I went through on the inside with a lap to go, and I saw Jake next to me. And I started to panic because he is the world champion. But I tried to hold my composure.”
Timothy Cheruiyot: “The race was good. It went according to the plan, and I thank God I got a silver today. It was a strong field, with world champion Jake, so I was expecting a challenge. I was expecting to win. But around 10 meters before the finish line, I stumbled on my foot and almost fell. But I’m happy I got a silver.”
Jake Wightman: “I really wanted to win it. I’m not quite as mentally and physically fresh as I thought I probably would have been coming into this off the back of a tiring world. But to come away with something, I am very pleased about that. And it’s nice to win something for Scotland because I want this period to be remembered as a time we got medals.”
The race behind the medallists was equally remarkable, with seven athletes running a PR. 20-Year-old Matthew Stonier, running for England, was seventh in 3:32.50, commenting: “I can’t put it into words. I’ve just run a three-second PB, I may have come seventh, but I’m over the moon. It’s my first senior championship; it’s unbelievable.
“I just wanted to go out there and have fun. It was either going to be quick, and I’d have to run my own race and not go too hard at the start, or it was going to be slow and a bit of a burn-up. It was quick, so I knew my position wasn’t really in the mix, but I just ran to time and tried as hard as I could.”
Elliot Giles, in planning his season, opted for his specialist event, the 800 in Oregon and 1500 at the Commonwealths. Unfortunately, injury ruled him out of the world. He, too got a PR of 3:33.56. He said: “It was awesome to be a part of. I just lacked the last 200. I went with it, I committed, it was good.”
The surprise was to see Olympic medallist Josh Kerr finish 12th in 3:35.7.
Finally, it was a nice idea to put the race in the morning program on Saturday.