Britain’s Jake Wightman overwhelmed the Olympic champion, the defending world champion and himself World Athletics Championships Oregon22 Tuesday (19), runs the race of his life to take the 1500m title.
The 28-year-old bronze medalist in Europe and the Commonwealth ended up with a world-leading PB of 3: 29.23 and gave Jakob Ingebrigtsen no response when he ran straight down the home field, with his eyes fixed in front of him. As the finish line approached, the Briton first raised his arms wide and then threw his hands against his head in disbelief, Norwegian Olympic champion Ingebrigtsen followed him home in 3: 29.47 and Spain’s Mohamed Katir came through for bronze in 3: 29.90.
“It’s my son,” was the voice over the loudspeaker, after the race was called by stadium announcer Geoff Wightman – father and coach of the winner, “and he is the world champion.”
Disappointed after finishing 10th at the Tokyo Olympics, Jake Wightman returned to work. He focused on building up his strength over the winter, returning to some cross-country running and working long distance while focusing on Oregon again.
To reach the goal of staying under the radar through the rounds, he took a seat on the Hayward Field starting line with Ingebrigtsen on the left and Katir on the right. Kenya’s Abel Kipsang, who had the fastest time of the season on his way into the race, went straight to the front and led from Ingebrigtsen and Kenya’s defending champion Timothy Cheruiyot, with Wightman sitting behind them. Ingebrigtsen, who broke the world record indoor 1500 meters with 3: 30.60 in February, moved to the front with two laps left, with Kipsang and Cheruiyot on his shoulder and Wightman following every movement.
At the clock it was Ingebrigtsen from Cheruiyot and Wightman, with Kipsang broad on his shoulder. After judging the race to perfection, the Briton first ran past Cheruiyot, and went into the lead ahead of Ingebrigtsen with just over 200 meters left.
When he left the turn, the long-awaited kick never came from Ingebrigtsen. When the Norwegian cast a glance over his shoulder, it looked as if he knew he had been beaten and made do with silver, followed by Katir and his Spanish teammate Mario Garcia, who ran a PB of 3: 30.20 for fourth.
Wightman’s British compatriot Josh Kerr – the Olympic 1500 meter bronze medalist – finished fifth in 3: 30.60, just ahead of Cheruiyot (3: 30.69) and Kipsang (3: 31.21).
“It probably won’t sink in until I retire,” said Wightman, who ran 1: 44.18 for the 800m and clocked a 3,000m PB at 7: 37.81 indoors in February. ‘It’s angry. I had such a disappointing year in Tokyo last year. I do not think people understand how devastating it was to go in with such high expectations and come from there in the hope of a medal, but to end up at 10.
His parents – both former elite marathon runners – were at Hayward Field to see him win, his father on the commentary microphone and his mother Susan in the stands.
“Dad can be a bit of a robot on the microphone sometimes,” smiled Wightman junior, whose time in Oregon is the third fastest in World Cup history. “Some say robot, some say professional. I hope he broke it down today. My mother was in tears, so some cried. “
After reflecting on the race, he added: “The strength for me is that if I can get there with 200 meters left, I will always make a move because that’s how I feel best when I run. As soon as the opportunity was there to pass, I just wanted to lead the turn. The only advantage of having a good 800m PB in such races is if you are still there with 200m left, something I have not managed to be in previous years.
“Even when I came straight down, I felt strong, but Jacob is a beast, and I never knew if he would pass.”
But he did not. Wightman’s last round was measured at 54.84, Ingebrigtsens was 55.24. In Tokyo, the Norwegian clocked 54.42 in the last 400m.
“I felt good, but I could not keep up with Jake for the last 200 m,” said Ingebrigtsen. ‘I own it. I’m very disappointed not to win, but I’m very happy on his behalf. He is a great runner. “
He will now bet on 5000m, where the heats will take place on Thursday.
It was 5000m Katir competed at last year’s Olympics, the 24-year-old finished in eighth place, but after setting national records in the 1500m, 3000m, 5000m and 10km last year, his decision to run the shorter event in Oregon paid off as he bet. the bronze with its second fastest time ever.
Just behind him was European U23 silver medalist and NCAA runner-up Garcia, who runs for the University of Mississippi and achieved the fastest time ever by a collegiate athlete.
Cheruiyot has been a long way from his best form this season, and although he made his presence felt in the early stages, he did not have the strength to finish and disappeared from the medal race.
Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera won the World Indoor Championship ahead of Ingebrigtsen and Kipsang in Belgrade in March, but finished ninth in the semifinals in Oregon, and missed the final.
Jess Whittington for World Athletics
|1500m MEN MEDALERS|
|🥇||Jake Wightman 🇬🇧 GBR||3: 29.23 WL|
|🥈||Jakob Ingebrigtsen 🇳🇴 NOR||3: 29.47 SB|
|🥉||Mohamed Katir 🇪🇸 ESP||3: 29.90 SB|