Jake Wightman targets world medal after claiming British title

Jake Wightman celebrates his 1500m win
Jake Wightman celebrates his 1500m win
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Jake Wightman has set his sights on a world indoor medal in Birmingham next week after bolting to his first UK title in the same city.

The 23-year-old took full advantage of the late withdrawal of Capital rival Chris O’Hare to win the 1500 metres at the British Championships and earn automatic selection in a time of 3:43.81.

“I think without Chris there I knew that it’d be a little bit more relaxed because I knew that I’d be the one who was in control of them (the field) and when I went I tried to lose sight of them as quickly as possible so I could get away as quickly as I could and it paid off,” he said.

“Worlds were never definitely in my plans – it was just if I got the standards then I’d look to go. I did that last week and there would have always been disappointment not to make the team from the position I was in but I’m glad this race went as it did and it leaves me relaxed. I’ll take any title I can get and the indoors is a really nice one to win.”

In-form O’Hare is expected to recover from a foot problem and return to action at next Sunday’s Muller Grand Prix in Glasgow.

But the selectors, who are set to finalise their squad on Tuesday, will now have to choose between him and UK silver medallist Charlie Grice for the second 1500m spot.

“I don’t know what is going to happen with selection now,” Wightman said. “Charlie ran pretty well there so that probably hasn’t helped Chris out. It is a shame it has happened and I don’t know what the decision will be. Fortunately I managed to do that. For me, the title is the main thing.”

Edinburgh AC club-mate Beth Dobbin just missed out on the 400m final in Birmingham, finishing in fifth place in her semi-final. Michael Olsen was one place away from the 60m final despite running 6.84 secs in the semis while Stacey Downie was a disappointing fifth in her 200m heat.

Meanwhile, Lasswade’s Guy Learmonth will miss the rest of the indoor season, including the world championships and next weekend’s Glasgow meeting, due to an ankle injury.

“The good news is I’m running well again,” he said. “I just need a solid block of consistent training for the Commonwealth Games so it was the best decision to make here.”