Jake Wightman today begged British Athletics selectors to give him a direct ticket to next month’s World Championships in London rather than making him sweat on a spot.
The 22-year-old was the odd man out in a stunning Capital sweep of the podium with Edinburgh AC club-mates Chris O’Hare and Josh Kerr securing automatic 1500m selection in the British team in first and second.
“I was going for the win but then Chris got me,” said Wightman. “Then Josh killed me. He came from nowhere. I didn’t have a clue. I wouldn’t have been able to stop him because he was going so quick.”
After winning the recent Diamond League in Oslo and topping the UK rankings, Wightman should still get the nod next week – especially after Olympic finalist Charlie Grice was bounced down to fifth by Glaswegian prospect Neil Gourley.
But the ex-European junior champion fears team bosses could make him go to next Sunday’s Anniversary Games in London and order him to make his case again.
“They might make London a run-off,” he said. “I hope they don’t because I’d quite like that to just be the selection if I got top two. It would be nice to know I’m in. It’s going to be horrible next week now.”
Kerr, who used to be coached by O’Hare’s father Terry, will get a senior debut in London after underlining his burgeoning promise. “I’ve been racing guys who I used to look up to when I was younger,” the 19-year-old said. “I used to train with Chris when he came home from the States when I was 14. I used to toe the line with him so to have him as my competition here was a step up.”
O’Hare was still a step ahead but had to shake off a hamstring problem to take the title ahead of his young rivals. “Especially being the older one at the age of 26,” O’Hare said. “It’s a good spot to know we’re getting it done together at Meadowbank. If that’s not an advert for keeping and even renovating Meadowbank Stadium, I don’t know what is.”
Eilidh Doyle won the 400m hurdles title for the fourth straight year but Lynsey Sharp fell short of earning an automatic spot as she came third in the women’s 800m. Lasswade’s Guy Learmonth must hunt down the qualifying mark despite coming second in the men’s 800m.
Meanwhile, Emma Nuttall admits she hasn’t ruled out a crack at the Worlds after her high jump silver. With Morgan Lake clearing 1.97 metres for the third-highest effort ever by a Brit, the Capital hope went to 1.83m but now needs to find 13 centimetres more inside 21 days to earn a berth in London. “Even if I miss out, this has still been progress,” the 2013 UK champion declared. “I’ve had a lot of injuries so I’m happy with that. I’m not up there with the big heights yet. There’s a hope if I stay positive. 1.94 might be a big ask this year but I’m not ruling it out. I’ll go out and jump but my main aim for this season was to make Commonwealth Games and stay healthy.”
Beth Dobbin won her 200m heat in 23.31 secs to move into fifth on the all-time Scottish list before coming sixth in the final.
Elsewhere, Cameron Tindle’s hopes of a berth at the European junior championships are over after he was forced to pull out of the Mannheim Gala due to glandular fever.