Jake Wightman aims to put himself in World Championship frame in Lille

Jake Wightman
Jake Wightman
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Jake Wightman claims this weekend’s European Team Championships in Lille can be the springboard towards a world title tilt in London come August.

The Capital athlete, fresh from earning his maiden Diamond League victory in some style in Oslo eight days ago, will be among the favourites for gold in the 1500 metres at the three-day event which kicks off this evening.

The timing couldn’t be better for the 22-year-old former 
European junior champion who has really hit his stride this season with a string of personal best runs and whose reputation is growing by the week.

“It’s a really good test for me, especially with the British trials coming up the following weekend,” Wightman said. “I love to race. That’s what I’m really in this for. I’m a competitive 
person.

“So to get a championship event at this point is ideal, especially when I know I’m running well.

“I’m feeling pretty confident after Oslo but I’ve kept reminding myself that it’s more important I get through trials – and then do well in London – than winning a Diamond League.”

The run-out in northern France could provide an edge in Birmingham next weekend when it’s set to be a case of four into three won’t go for the UK’s 1500m hopes.

And even with Rio Olympic finalist Charlie Grice in the frame, there could be a podium sweep for Edinburgh AC with two-time European medallist Chris O’Hare and US collegiate champion Josh Kerr matching Wightman in hitting top form.

And Wightman said: “I don’t think everyone even realises we’re all Scottish, never mind that we came through Edinburgh AC. But that’s nice for the people at the club, to know that we’ve all benefited from the work they put in.

“Chris and Josh and me were in separate training groups so the two of them have had more contact – and I’m not sure, because of our ages, if we would ever do relays together. But it would be quite cool if it ever happened.”

Pitreavie’s Eilidh Doyle goes this evening in Lille in the heats of the 400m hurdles before doubling up in the 4x400m relay on Sunday.