Who is Jake Wightman? Profile of Edinburgh's 1500m world champion

Jake Wightman, who became world champion after winning the men’s 1500m in Oregon, was raised and educated in the Capital and represents Edinburgh Athletic Club. Here’s everything you need to know about the athletics superstar.

Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 11:58 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 2:30 pm

Capital upbringing

Born in Nottingham, Wightman moved to Linlithgow as a child and is a product of Edinburgh Athletic Club. His dad and coach Geoff was chief executive at Scottish Athletics, which led to him being schooled in Edinburgh. He was educated at Erskine Stewart’s Melville, Fettes College and Loughborough University. He is now based in Arizona.

Early ambitions

Wightman represents Scotland and has wanted to be an athlete from an early age. "From aged eight, I always said my dream job was to be a professional athlete, which I am lucky enough to be able to live out now," he told the BBC. He runs for Edinburgh Athletic Club and in 2018 became the first Briton to run below one minute 45 seconds for 800m and three minutes 35 seconds for 1500m since Peter Elliott in 1991.

Family affair

Wightman, who studied retailing, marketing and management at Loughborough University, comes from a running family with dad and coach Geoff and mum Susan both former athletes. He has a twin brother, Sam.

Geoff represented England in the marathon at the 1990 Commonwealth Games and also came sixth at the European Championships the same year.

Jake Wightman celebrates with his gold medal on the podium. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

Mum Susan represented Team GB at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, coming 12th in the marathon. His aunt, Angela Tooby-Smith also ran in the 10,000m.

Biggest win

Wightman's victory in Eugene on Tuesday was the biggest of his career and a significant improvement. He only came 10th at last year's Olympics and was fifth at the World Championships in Doha three years ago. His biggest medals before Oregon were bronze in the 1500m at the European Championships and Commonwealth Games in 2018. He came seventh at the European Championships in 2016 while he was also fourth in the 800m at the Commonwealth Games four years ago.

Rapid times

Jake Wightman running an invitational men's 4km at Holyrood Park in January 2014. Picture: Bill Murray / SNS

He has run quicker than Steve Cram, Steve Ovett and Lord Sebastian Coe in the 1500m. His new personal best and title-winning run of three minutes 29.23 in Eugene is the second fastest ever 1500m time by a Briton, with only Sir Mo Farah running faster. He has an indoor personal best at 1500m of three minutes 34.48 seconds.

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