Jake Wightman says he ended up 'looking pretty stupid' after below-par showing in 800m

Jake Wightman admits he’s on the back foot after a sub-par showing at Diamond League in Birmingham which has forced the Edinburgh star to formulate a Plan B.

By Mark Woods
Sunday, 22nd May 2022, 1:18 pm
Jake Wightman was disappointed with his performance in the 800m at Birmingham. Picture: Bradley Collyer/ Getty
Jake Wightman was disappointed with his performance in the 800m at Birmingham. Picture: Bradley Collyer/ Getty

The Tokyo Olympic 1,500m finalist was only fourth in Saturday’s men’s 800 metres in a time of 1:46.39 that was shy of his target.

His initial goals for his summer were to chase medals over 1,500m at July’s world championships and Commonwealth Games. This was an opportunity to stake a claim for an 800m berth at August’s Europeans but it was a chance blown.

“I wanted to just run quick at this time of year but it was mainly just about being in that race,” the 27-year-old revealed. “I feel like we kind of let it go a little bit and I ended up looking pretty stupid.

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“I want to just do 800 at the Euros. I don't think that's good enough to prove that. So I'm now going to need to try and run another one in a few weeks’ time. I'm fit. I could run a personal best hopefully right at this moment. But I just need a couple more races. So if I had one more 800 at some point, I think I could go a lot quicker.”

His rival Josh Kerr was only fifth in the men’s 1500m as was Jemma Reekie in the women’s 1500 as training partner Laura Muir made a victorious return from a lingering back problem.

Muir said: "I didn't think I'd even be running here. So not just to be running, but to be competitive and to be winning. I'm very happy.

The Glasgow-based colleagues fly to Oregon this week to race the Prefontaine Classic which will give them a feel for the world championship venue. Reekie will drop back to her favoured 800m with a few lessons taken.