Guy Learmonth and Jake Wightman go head-to-head

Guy Learmonth. Picture: SNS

Guy Learmonth. Picture: SNS

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Jake Wightman (Edinburgh AC) and Guy Learmonth (Lasswade) are all set to renew their close track rivalry and have another battle royal in the British Milers Club meeting at Stretford near Manchester tomorrow night.

Following their epic clash in the 800 metres final at Scotstoun last Sunday, which saw Learmonth win with a desperate lunge for the line to clinch his first senior Scottish title at that distance, the two Loughborough University training mates will lock horns again over two laps as they strive for the elusive Commonwealth Games qualifying standard of 1:47.50.

They should have plenty of opposition to help them on their way with a speedy Swede, Joahann Svennson, who has a best of 1:47.15, among the entries as well as several top Brits including Rory Graham Watson.

“The forecast is for strong winds so I’m just praying it keeps calm,” says Learmonth, whose best since the qualifying period opened on April 1 is 1:47.86, though he did have a 1:47.41 indoors earlier this year which will of course not count.

Wightman’s best for the 800 is 1:48.01, which is also not far away, and his coach and father, Geoff Wightman, believes the Fettesian may have a better chance of making the Glasgow 2014 team in this than in the 1500m, where the target is 3:42.20 as opposed to his best of 3:43.74. “With Chris O’Hare, Dave Bishop, Kris Gauson and Ali Hay all in contention the 1500 is becoming quite crowded,” said Wightman senior, a former British internationalist in the marathon.

With O’Hare reaching the World Championship semi-finals in Moscow, as well as having several qualifying standards to his name, his Glasgow place is all but assured, leaving only two 1500m places to play for.