Jake Wightman reckons he’s got even more left in the tank, even after he produced the run of his life to pull off a stunning 1500 metres victory at the Bislett Games in Oslo.
The 22-year-old from Edinburgh accelerated off the final bend to beat a world-class field at the Diamond League meeting, holding off a late charge from Kenyan world silver medallist Elijah Manangoi to shatter his personal best with a time of 3:34.17.
“I’m just stunned by that,” said the Capital prospect. “When the leaders were still within reach with 250 to go, I thought: ‘there’s a chance here, let’s not blow it’. My finishing has been pretty strong this season so far so when we got to 100 metres to go, I felt I had plenty left. I was just running for my life at the end. I had no idea what was happening behind me. But it was just amazing to get that win. That definitely beats anything I’ve done before.”
It moved the former European junior champion, who will run for GB&NI at next week’s European Team Championships in Lille, into third place in the all-time Scottish charts behind John Robson and Graham Williamson – and above Mo Farah into top spot in this season’s UK rankings. And, with Edinburgh AC club-mates Chris O’Hare and Josh Kerr also in the frame, it promises to be a battle royale at next month’s British Championships in Birmingham.
“I had never expected to win this, so this was a great step in the right direction,” added Wightman. “I expected it to go faster here, so I didn’t run as fast as I thought I might. But a personal best is great.”
Lynsey Sharp dipped under the world championship qualifying mark for the first time this season in the 800 metres. But the ex-European champion ended up eighth in 2:00.41 as Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya bolted away from the field to keep her unbeaten streak intact.