Wightman targets Euro 800m refresh, with dad as coach not commentator

By: AFP
Published: 07:21 PM, 14 Aug, 2022
Wightman targets Euro 800m refresh, with dad as coach not commentator
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Jake Wightman provided half of one of the most iconic moments of last month's world championships, storming to 1500m gold as his father Geoff commentated over the stadium tannoy.

Wightman held off favoured Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen in a sensational race in Eugene, his father (and coach) left speechless in the commentary box.

"That's my son and he's world champion," an emotional Geoff told the public at Hayward Field before putting down the microphone.

Footage of his calling the race soon went viral, something Wightman jokingly contends would please his father more than his race victory.

Wightman, the runner, shared some news ahead of the European championships that kick off in Munich's Olympic Stadium on Monday.

"My dad's not doing the announcing, he's actually coaching me," he told journalists.

"I think people will be glad not to hear his voice in the stadium!

"I've never ever had him around the warm-up area and the hotel... I've seen him a lot more recently."

Wightman confirmed his form post-worlds by winning bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and then scorching past a quality field to victory in the 1000m at last week's Monaco Diamond League.

After being beaten into silver place in Oregon, Ingebrigtsen maintained he had been beaten by an athlete below his level.

But Wightman brushed off that slight.

"It wasn't the nicest thing to say," he acknowledged. "But comments like that don't really bother me."

Wightman added: "I couldn't care less because I won the world championships. That's the one that matters for me.

"If he thinks I'm the worse athlete I probably am for most of the year... but hopefully I can carry on winning at world champs."

Wightman insists he wants to be known as a middle-distance runner rather than just a 1500m athlete and will compete in the 800m in Munich.

"I rarely get the opportunity to run the 800m... (so) as much as I can run 800s, I will," he said.

"I get a wildcard to go to the 1500 at the worlds (in Budapest) next year... so hopefully I'll try and get a medal here if I can."

Wightman, also aiming to crack the long-standing Scottish 800m record of 1:43.88 set by Tom McKean in 1989, admitted that boosting his motivation post-Eugene had been tricky.

"Before Eugene I thought three champs would be easy. But since Eugene, it's been so tough," he said, calling the Commonwealth Games his "least enjoyable".

"Doing the 800m here is a real refresh," he said, insisting he wouldn't have come to Munich if he'd been down to compete in the 1500m.

Categories : Sports
AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.