Jake Wightman becomes first British winner of Fifth Avenue Mile

Jake Wightman

Jake Wightman rounded off a satisfying season by becoming the first British winner of the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York.

The 24-year-old – a European bronze medallist at 1500m – ran 3:54.09 to pip Olympic medalist Nick Willis with fellow Scot Neil Gourley third and Wightman’s fellow Edinburgh AC man Chris O’Hare coming sixth.

Meanwhile, Guy Learmonth has set his sights on European indoor glory in Glasgow next March, even if it scuppers his World Championship hopes later in the year.

The Lasswade ace, 26, rounded off a season of ups and downs by taking sixth place in the 500 metres at the Great CityGames in Gateshead on Saturday.

Mistakes have been made and lessons learnt, Learmonth acknowledges, with a series of injuries holding him in check.

But, after admitting he hit overload by going to the Commonwealth Games while injured, the eyes of the Scot and his coach Henry Gray are all on a single prize in 2019.

“That’s my main aim of 2019: the Euro indoors, more even than the worlds,” he said. “That’s all the way in October. So I want a medal in Glasgow. The worlds are massive but with it being at home, we’ve been thinking about it.

“My back has been against the wall since last December and that’s maybe where I’ve made mistakes: wasting energy trying to get fit rather than sorting out my injuries.”

Lynsey Sharp is of similar mind with the Edinburgh AC star happy to close a tough 
season with second place in the women’s 500m in Gateshead.

The former European champion – who was sixth at this summer’s championships in Berlin – will return to her base in San Diego at the end of this month and admits there is a sense of relief to turn the page toward next year.

“There were plenty of times during the season where I wanted to draw a line under it,” the 28-year-old revealed. “I did keep turning up. It did get better. But, at the Europeans, I didn’t run the race I should have run.”

Elsewhere, Capital prospect Josh Kerr took his first victory since turning professional by winning the Minnesota Mile in 4:10.5.

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