World Athletics Championship: How to watch Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman going for gold in 1,500m final

Edinburgh’s Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman are both through to the 1,500m final and going for gold at the World Athletics Championship in the United States.

Monday, 18th July 2022, 1:47 pm

Kerr, the Olympic bronze medallist, won his semi-final in Hayward Field, Oregon and Wightman finished third in the second semi-final to go through, but there was no place for fellow Scott Neil Gourley, who had recovered from testing positive for Covid last week. Racing in Wightman’s semi-final, he finished sixth. Here is all you need to know:

WHEN IS THE FINAL?

The final is scheduled to start at 3.30am on Wednesday morning, UK time. Oregon is on the west coast and is eight hours behind, so the local time will be 7.30pm on Tuesday.

Edinburgh's Jake Wightman and Josh Kerr are both aiming for a medal in the world 1,500m final. Picture: Getty

HOW CAN I WATCH?

For those who can’t sleep in the heat, the final will be screened live on BBC1 and the BBC Sport website. If you’re confident of sleeping through the night, the race will still be available to watch on the BBC Sport website on Wednesday morning.

WHO ARE KERR AND WIGHTMAN?

Wightman, 27 and Kerr, 24, are both products of Edinburgh Athletics Club.

Kerr, who attended George Watson's College in Edinburgh, is now based in Seattle and his brother Jake is a Scotland rugby international who plays as a hooker for Bristol Bears.

Josh won a sensational bronze in last summer’s Olympic final in Tokyo, where Wightman was disappointed to finish 10th.

Both reached the final of the last World Championships in Doha in 2019, but missed out on the podium.

Born in Nottingham, Wightman’s dad and coach Geoff was chief executive at Scottish Athletics, which led to him being schooled in Edinburgh. Mum Susan was a marathon runner who finished 12th at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Educated at Stewart's Melville, Fettes College and Loughborough University, Wightman is a late bloomer as a world-class 1,500m specialist and is now based in Arizona.

DO THEY HAVE A CHANCE?

Both are expected to be in the mix for a medal.

Wightman has been in top form this year. He clinched the British title last month, with Kerr coming in third.

The 28-year-old won a Diamond League meeting in Rabat at the start of June, and then backed that up with a third place in Oslo 10 days later, breaking the 40-year-old Scottish mile record in the process.

Wightman said going into the championships that his “main aim” was to finish on the podium. “I feel like I can do that,” he said.

Kerr has not raced much in 2022 so far. He has tried to stay “under the radar” while aiming to peak for this final and make an impact on the big stage.

He did show what he is capable of earlier in the year by breaking the British and European indoor mile record in Boston in February.

Kerr says being best in the world on a given day is “part of why I'm in the sport”.

He said: “I need to make sure I have one of my best races of the year in that final.”

WHO ARE THE FAVOURITES?

Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen is the man to beat. The 21-year-old from Norway is considered to be one of the big world stars and is a strong favourite for gold.

Kenya’s Timothy Cheruyiot, the defending champion and Olympics silver medallist, is the other big threat along with compatriot Abel Kipsang. Ethiopia’s Teddese Lemi could also be a contender.

HOW WILL THE RACE PAN OUT?

There are 12 finalists, including three Spaniards, American Josh Thompson, Australia’s Stewart McSweyn and Poland’s Michał Rozmys.

According to Steve Cram, Kerr likes a hard, fast race. Wightman, on the other hand, likes it a little slower and is a renowned his smart tactics.