Watch touching moment Jake Wightman wins 1500m gold at World Championships… as stadium announcer DAD calls him home | The SunJuly 20, 2022
SENSATIONAL Jake Wightman won Britain’s first gold medal at the Eugene World Athletics Championships – and his glory run was commentated on by his DAD.
The 28-year-old became the first 1500m world champion from the UK since Steve Cram 39 years ago with a stunning last 200m surge at Hayward Field.
His proud dad Geoff is the voice of athletics at major events and was calling the race inside the stadium for the 10,000 fans.
Wightman said: “When I’m retired, fat and enjoying life a little bit, I can look back on this and feel very proud that I did everything I could do get to this point. It’s all worth it.
“The dream scenario has come off. How often do you become World champion?
“It hasn’t sunk in it. It will be days, maybe months, until I actually feel this is what’s happened.
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“I’m 28 now, I don’t know how many more opportunities I will get to do this and I hope there is a lot more to come. If I don’t get it I need to make the most of it.
“Someone has got a video of my dad doing the announcing which will be pretty special.
“He can be a bit of a robot on the mic sometimes, some people say robot, some say professional.
“I hope he broke that down today. It will be interesting to watch it back. My mum was in tears, someone was crying!”
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Geoff did well to keep his emotions in check throughout the event, and he said: “Running, it’s coming home. Wow. That’s my son, I coach him and he is the world champion. Jake Wightman has just had the run of his life.”
Where everyone was looking at Josh Kerr and his golden shades, few were talking about Wightman or thinking that he had a chance.
But that is exactly how he wanted it, going under the radar and he made the bold down the back straight of the final lap to make his move.
Wightman moved past Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway and with gritted teeth he held on for a magnificent victory in a world leading mark of 3:29.23.
It is the second fastest time at the world champs since the 3:27.65 set by Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj in 1999.
Bronze went to Spain’s Mohamed Katir was third while Scottish star Kerr was fifth.
Wightman is on a flight back to London from Portland on Thursday evening with preparations already starting for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
This meant World Athletics officials had to bring forward his medal ceremony so he could have his moment in front of friends and family with the Union Flag flying.
The gold was handed to him by athletics great Seb Coe – who won two Olympic 1500m titles but never a world championship.
Cram, 61, who acts a mentor to Wightman, said: “Jake is a very smart runner.
“I don’t know too many people who have a better racing brain. It doesn’t matter what the pace is. He is a racer.
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“It has been a long wait. It’s just a great story because he is the sort of athlete that so many others can look up to.
“He believes in himself, he is not brash, he just waits until he is ready and he has produced the performance there. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
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