Jake Wightman wants to turn the London Stadium into a little corner of Meadowbank tonight as the Terrific Trio of Edinburgh AC prepare to launch their 1500 metres bid in the heats.
The Oslo Diamond League winner joins British champion Chris O’Hare and American college number one Josh Kerr in a three-pronged Capital attack at the world championships following the 1-2-3 finish they enjoyed at the trials.
Even though the three, separated by six years, were never all at their hometown club together, there are common threads running through their development, says Wightman, that has led them all to the biggest stage.
“The kids’ coach at Edinburgh, Eric Fisher, is a massive influence on all the athletes in the sport,” he said. “He makes it pretty fun and a lot of kids then go from him on to other coaches within the club.
“The fact you’re in Scotland also means you can be more competitive. Whereas in England, you probably get swept up. We’re allowed to win races and do well.
“And Edinburgh’s been a strong club for so long that, when you go into league stuff, you get to compete in UK competitions. You’re part of a winning team and it’s a huge confidence boost coming out of all that help.”
Kerr, just 19, is one of the babies of the British team but has insisted he’s out for more than just experience on his senior debut. But while Wightman has shown he’s taken huge steps forward since going from first to nowhere in last summer’s European final, it is O’Hare who – with a Scottish record newly under his belt – has emerged as one of the hopes for a medal that the ailing British team badly needs.
“Chris is just absolutely killing it at the moment,” Wightman said. “He said before he left for Monaco that he was going for a personal best. If you look at what he’s done over the last few months, he’s really taken things up to another level which is brilliant for him. But that’s good because it pushes me and Josh and everyone else to try and follow him.”