Tag Archives: Jake Wightman

Laura Muir to run for Scotland at 2022 Commonwealth Games

Scottish Olympic medallists Laura Muir and Josh Kerr have had their Commonwealth Games places confirmed. Eilish McColgan, Jemma Reekie, Jake Wightman and Andy Butchart will also be in the Birmingham 2022 team after their summer achievements in Tokyo.

The event runs from 28 July to 8 August next year. In a hectic 2022 schedule, the World Championships are in Oregon from 15-24 July, while Munich stages the European Championships from 11-21 August. Muir smashed the British record to finish behind defending champion Faith Kipyegon in the 1500m in Japan.

Kerr finished third over the same distance in a personal best time, while Wightman also made the final. Reekie ran her fastest race to date in Tokyo but had to settle for a fourth place over 800m after she was caught on the line.

McColgan failed to qualify for the 5,000m final after being clipped by opponents but went on to reach the 10,000m final, coming in ninth. Butchart was the only British athlete to make the men’s 5,000m final, finishing 11th.

Can Wightman make it a Commonwealth collection?

 Wightman has a 1500m bronze from the 2018 Commonwealth Games after coming fourth in the 800m on the Gold Coast. Butchart missed out with a broken foot, while Muir did not compete because she was concentrating on her veterinary medicine exams. McColgan finished sixth in the 1500m and 5,000m in Australia, having also come in sixth when competing in the steeplechase at Glasgow 2014.

Last month, she beat her personal best over 10,000m in winning the Great Manchester Run in 30 minutes 52 seconds. And, after winning silver and bronze medals for Great Britain, the 30-year-old believes it’s “the perfect time” to win one for Scotland. “I certainly feel more motivated than ever to win a medal for Scotland,” she told BBC Scotland. “It’s not going to be easy but after the year I’ve had, I feel I’m in the best shape of my life.”

Kerr and Reekie will be making their Commonwealth Games debuts in Birmingham. “I have no doubt the atmosphere will be electric and I’m looking forward to bringing a medal home to Scotland,” said Kerr.

Jake Wightman runs away with 5th Avenue Mile title

The 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Jake Wightman took the top honors at the 5th Avenue Mile that was held on Sunday (12) in New York City.

Wightman, who won this event in 2018 and knew how to gauge his effort to the finish, ran a very speedy  and calculative race that led him to clinch the title the second time in 3:49.6, with Australian Oliver Hoare forced to settle on the second place in 3:50.4. Another British athlete, Jake Heyward closed the podium three finishes in 3:50.4

The 27-year-old Wightman, like his countrywoman Reekie, was concluding a long season on the track, which included a 10th-place finish in the Olympic 1500-meter final.

“That’s a straight mile PB, but I feel pretty grim now,” Wightman said of his win, which was nearly five seconds faster than his win in 2018. “That was hard work.”

Unites states was represented by Sam Prakel who crossed the line in fourth place in 3:50.5.

Matthew Centrowitz darted out of the pack just before halfway to earn the $1,000 bonus, before finishing 14th in 3:56.4.

LEADING RESULTS

MEN

  1. Jake Wightman     (BRT) 3:49.6
  2. Oliver Hoare         (AUS) 3:50.4
  3. Jake Heyward       (BRT) 3:50.4
  4. Sam Prakel           (USA) 3:50.5

Paul Chelimo to battle Matthew Centrowitz at New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile

The 2016 Rio Olympic 5000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo from the United States will be leading a star studded field of elite athletes at the New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile that will be held on Sunday (12) from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Grand Army Plaza.

Chelimo will battle for glory with the 2016 Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz who won the 2012 edition in 3:52.4.

He nearly won again in 2016 but was piped at the line by his then Nike Oregon Project teammate Eric Jenkins and finished second. Centrowitz, who did not make it out of the semi-finals of the 1500m, last month at the Tokyo Olympics, will be running on Fifth Avenue for the sixth time.

“I’m excited to return to New York for my sixth race down Fifth Avenue, a race I first won nine years ago,” Centrowitz said through a statement. “Heading back East and ending my season there is like a great end-of-summer tradition, and I’m looking to show the rest of the guys I’ve still got a step or two left in 2021.”

Chelimo won bronze in the same discipline in Tokyo last month, has never run on Fifth Avenue before. However, he has finished on the podium before in two road races in New York: the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5-K in 2018 where he topped and United Airlines NYC Half where finished in third place.

“I’ve already run a 5-K and half marathon in New York, so now I just need to check the mile and the marathon off my list,” Chelimo said through a media release. “Running a straight line down Fifth Avenue is very different than running laps on a track, and I’ve got more road racing experience than the other guys in this field. I’m confident in my finish, so if I can keep it close through halfway, I think I can beat the milers at their own game. Go hard or suffer for the rest of your life.”

The 2016 Olympic 800m bronze medalist, Clayton Murphy  is also in the field, as are 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships 3000m bronze medalist Adel Mechaal of Spain, and 2018 European Athletics Championships 1500m bronze medalist Jake Wightman of Great Britain.

The reigning champion and five-time winner Nick Willis of New Zealand will not defend his title.

Michael saruni to face stiff challenge at World Continental Tour

Former world record holder for the indoor 600m champion Michael Saruni face off with Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Patryk Dobek from Poland at the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial that will be held on Sunday (5) in Silesia, Poland, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting.

Saruni who is Coached by the 1988 Seoul Olympics 800m gold medalist Paul Ereng, will be looking out to redeem himself after faltering at Tokyo.

Dobek is the current European Indoor 800m Champion and he must be at his best to take victory in front of his home crowd.

Others in the start lineup include, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Amel Tuka, USA’s Clayton Murphy and British trio Daniel Rowden, Elliot Giles and Jake Wightman.

Jacob Ingebrigtsen Youngest-Ever European 1500m Champion

Norway’s insurgent 17 year-old, Jacob Ingebrigtsen, showed no respect to his elders at Olympic Stadium here tonight –including his two older brothers– winning the European Athletics Championships 1500m title in 3:38.10 with a solid 53.64-second closing lap.

His brothers Henrik (the 2012 champion), and Filip (the 2016 winner), finished fourth and 12th, respectively. Not surprisingly, Ingebrigtsen is now the youngest-ever man to win a European title in any discipline.

“Jacob won it?” asked bronze medalist Jake Wightman of Great Britain as he spoke to reporters after the race. “I didn’t even know that.”

Leading at the 800m mark in 2:01.12, Jakob Ingebrigtsen timed his race perfectly. He didn’t push the pace too soon, running just slightly behind Britain’s Charlie Grice at the bell (2:44.42). Ingebrigtsen eased into the lead through the 1200m mark, and simply remained there until the finish as the other 12 men gave chase. Just before crossing the line, he turned to his right just to make sure he wasn’t going to get caught.

Behind him, Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski mounted a huge attack in the homestretch, passing Wightman within the last two meters to get the silver medal in 3:38.14 to Wightman’s 3:38.25. Wightman never saw him coming.

“That’s the skill,” Wightman marveled. “He’s the predator.”

While happy for his younger brother, Henrik Ingebrigtsen was downcast about his own race. He said he was he had prepared well for these championships and hoped for a medal, which he could still earn in tomorrow’s 5000m.

“I’m pissed that I got boxed in,” Henrik Ingebrigtsen told Race Results Weekly. “I was really fit enough to get a medal today.”

In the women’s 800m final, Ukraine’s Nataliya Pryshchepa successfully defended her title from Amsterdam two years ago in a modest 2:00.38, just 24/100ths of a second ahead of France’s Renelle Lamote. Pryshchepa’s Ukrainian teammate Olha Lyakhova was a close third in 2:00.79.

The men’s two-lap final isn’t until tomorrow, but in tonight’s semi-finals Poland’s Adam Kszczot, the two-time defending champion, showed his mastery of the event, posting the fastest mark of the evening of 1:46.11. Kszczot was in last place at the bell, but slid past the field on the outside over the final 300 meters to take the win, confidently.

“It’s never easy,” Kszczot told Race Results Weekly. He continued: “I did a good job. I can’t imagine a better semi-final.”

Kszczot’s main rival for gold, France’s Pierre-Ambroise Bosse, finished third in the same heat setting up a great final which will also include two other Poles, Mateus Borkowski and Michal Rozmys. Also advancing was Sweden’s Andreas Kramer, who won the first heat in 1:46.14, and Denmark’s Andreas Bube who finished close behind Kramer in 1:46.40.

“It was rough out there,” Bube told Race Results Weekly showing off a spike wound. “It was like a boxing match. I won my fight.”

In other qualifying action, Laura Muir got off on the right foot at these championships, winning the first of two heats of the women’s 1500m on the strength of a 60.5-second closing lap. Muir, whose 3:55.22 personal best is easily the fastest in the field, ran a patient race, moving from the back of the field at 300 meters, and not coming to the front until after the bell. She easily held of Ireland’s Ciara Mageean, Portugal’s Marta Pen Freitas, and Poland’s Angelika Cichocka (the reigning champion) who filled out the next three places.

“I just wanted to stay out of trouble and I did that, so yes I am happy,” Muir commented to British Athletics. “I had plenty in hand, it was just a case of staying out of trouble and trying to qualifying as comfortably as possible.”

Muir’s teammate, Laura Weightman, also advanced by finishing second in heat 2, but she took a different approach than Muir. Weightman ran near the front the entire heat, then gently picked it up on the backstretch on the final lap and eased to the finish in 4:08.74. She did not react when Poland’s Sofia Ennaoui moved past her in the homestretch to win the heat in 4:08.60.

“That last lap I know to go steady,” Weightman told Race Results Weekly. “I don’t like to waste energy before the final.”

The two winners of the women’s steeplechase preliminary heats, Norway’s Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdahl and Switzerland’s Fabienne Schlumpf, both used front-running tactics to secure their places in the final. Grøvdahl, who was the bronze medalist at the 2016 edition of these championships in the 10,000m, led nearly every step of the first heat, and won without a hard final sprint in 9:34.23. Denmark’s Anna Møller, France’s Ophélie Claude-Boxberger, Germany’s Elena Burkhard, and Spain’s Irene Sanchez all finished less than half a second behind and secured the other four automatic qualifying spots from that heat.

“I think it’s good to be in the front,” Grøvdahl told Race Results Weekly before hustling out of the mixed zone to recover. “I have better technique that way. It was a safe race.”

Schlumpf competed in similar fashion, but maintained a gap on the field for the final lap of the race. The tall Swiss woman cruised to the line in 9:32.32, nearly a full second ahead of the petite Luiza Gega of Albania. The defending champion, Germany’s Gesa Krause, was third.

“I wanted to run with the leading group,” Schlumpf told European Athletics interviewers. “It just happened like this that at one moment, I did not want to race to loose speed, so I decided to go in front. And I felt good there and I was able to continue strong until the finish line.”

The 24th European Athletics Championships continue tomorrow at Olympic Stadium with finals for both the men’s 800m and 5000m in the evening. These championships conclude on Sunday when the men’s and women’s marathons will be held on the same course in the morning (with slightly different start times), and the women’s 1500m, 5000m and 3000m steeplechase finals will be held in less than a one-hour period on Sunday night.

Manangoi lives to expectation as he takes gold in 1500m race at Gold Coast

World 1500m Champion Elijah Manangoi lived to his expectation as led another 1-2 Kenya finish at the Commonwealth Games that was held on early Saturday morning at the Carrara Stadium on Saturday.

Manangoi led his training and club mate Timothy Cheruiyot when they took both gold and silver in 3:34.78 and 3:35.17 respectively.

Scotlands Jake Wightman closed the podium three slots when he crossed the in 3:35.97.

Seb Coe: Jake Wightman can double up like me

SEB Coe knows a thing or two about doubling up in the 800m and 1500m at a major championships. But even he knows there are no foolproof plans when it comes to the sharp end of middle-distance racing.

No sooner had the IAAF President passed on his advice to Scotland’s Jake Wightman ahead of tonight’s Commonwealth 800m final at the Carrara Stadium than the politician in him was inserting the small print.

“. . . But what do I know,” he said. “I’ve stuffed up a few 800 metres in my time.”

While he too has more pedigree in the 1500m, Wightman is doing well enough in 800m all by himself. Racing in the slowest, final heat, he put on the after burners to claim the second automatic qualifying spot in this lunchtime’s final, where he hopes to battle Botswana’s Nijel Amos, Australia’s Luke Matthews and a couple of handy Kenyans for a medal.

False modesty aside though, Coe – who took gold in the 1500m and silver in the 800m at both the 1980 and 1984 Olympics – is in touch with Wightman often enough that the two men should perhaps consider setting up a

Whatsapp group.

A friend of his dad Geoff’s from their running days, Jake is a real student of the sport who grew up immersed in the Coe legend via his parents. He was delighted to receive a hand-written letter of congratulations from him after he became the first

British male winner of a Diamond League in the 1500m at last year’s Bislett Games in Oslo and there was even a comic exchange between the two when Wightman mistakenly thought that a text from the IAAF President was actually from an old university pal who was also called Seb.

For the record, the track legend’s advice to Wightman ahead of tonight’s Commonwealth 800m final is simple enough to be verging on the bleeding obvious.

Don’t get boxed in. And be prepared to think outside the box if things aren’t going the way you hoped they would.

“What is my advice to him?” said Coe. “Back his own instincts. Back his own judgment. It’s very difficult for someone sitting in the stands to make that judgment.

“But the golden rule in all these things is to focus all the time and keep your wits about you,” he added. “The number one rule, particularly in 800 because things happen really quickly, is always to have an exit strategy – just in case someone does something silly in front of you.

“If they do, does that leave you on the inside momentarily where the race has got away from you? So if in doubt always run clear and just don’t get caught on the inside.”

If the likes of Wightman are bringing the 800/1500 double back into fashion, Coe doesn’t see why it shouldn’t be achievable – even if the dynamics over racing over the shorter distance appear to be changing.

Where successful runners like himself would often leave their burst till the latter stages of a race, now

exponents often step on the gas from the outset. At least Wightman had the day off yesterday after a round of the 800m was dropped due to a lack of entrants.

“It is tough to double up,” said Coe of Wightman, the sole Scot surviving in this event after the elimination of

Guy Learmonth.

“He hasn’t doubled up that often before. The only observation I made was, as I found in LA when I doubled up and on other occasions, that getting some good 800 metres under your belt actually left you in good shape.

He’s a well-conditioned athlete so

actually, given his background as an athlete, that could be advantageous to him.

“I thought Jake looked really strong in his semi-final,” he added. “He didn’t put a foot wrong. The problem is the nature of the 800 metres has altered. I don’t think, if I’m being honest, it’s strictly an endurance event anymore.

“It gives the 400 metre chancers more of a chance. In the old days

you had four rounds in four days.

But actually the ability to last four rounds in four days also meant you probably had enough background to do the 1500 as well. Most of the 800 metres runners now are struggling beyond 800 metres and two yards.”

Watching him run in this manner over two laps with his preferred event still to come, there is a temptation to get carried away by the promise of Wightman. “Jake is making good progress,” continued Coe. “Remember he was the first British athlete in ten years to win a Diamond League. It prompted me to pen a piece of paper to him. Mind you, it had to be pen and paper because

I can’t type on a computer!”

Wightman, who also had Steve Ovett’s son Freddy staying with him, has no shortage of belief in his own ability. “I’m here to get a medal,” he said. “No matter what the event. The opportunity to have two is very exciting. But however the 800 goes, I’ve got to keep my focus for the 1500m.”

Whatever happens this lunchtime – flagbearer Eilidh Doyle has her date with destiny not long before – Wightman seems headed for great things and the Gold Coast might well be the next staging post on his progress.

It always helps when you have friends in high places to call upon.