'My son is world champion': Wightman wins 1500m gold with dad commentating

Jake Wightman won the world championship 1,500m gold with his proud father Geoff calling him home as the stadium announcer



Britain's Jake Wightman reacts after winning the men's 1500m final at the World Athletics Championships. (AFP)
Britain's Jake Wightman reacts after winning the men's 1500m final at the World Athletics Championships. (AFP)

By Reuters

Published: Wed 20 Jul 2022, 4:06 PM

Briton Jake Wightman took a superb world championship 1,500m gold as he outkicked Olympic champion and hot favourite Jakob Ingebrigtsen on the final lap on Tuesday, with his proud father Geoff calling him home as the stadium announcer.

Wightman’s father and coach, used to the combination by now but never previously seeing such a victory, somehow kept his emotion in check as he called his son home, though he did allow himself a moment to announce to the Hayward Field fans: “That’s my son and he’s world champion”.

On an emotional night all-round, Wightman celebrated the first World Championship gold in the event for former middle-distance powerhouse Britain since Steve Cram — also in the stadium commentating for the BBC - in the first event in 1983. He then received his gold medal from double Olympic 1,500m champion and World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.

“I have given up so much to get to this point and it makes everything worth it,” he said.

“I never gave up in my confidence to get to this point. I am so glad that I have been able to do what I have dreamed of since I was a kid.”

Wightman’s winning time of 3 minutes, 29.23 was the fastest in the world this year and underlined his pedigree. Ingebrigtsen took silver, with Spain’s Mohamed Katir finishing strongly for bronze just ahead of compatriot Mario Garcia.

“Today the stars just aligned,” said Wightman.

Meanwhile, Brazilian Alison dos Santos denied record-holder Karsten Warholm a third successive World Championship title on Tuesday, winning the 400-metre hurdles in a blazing-fast 46.29 seconds.

While the hype heading into the final had largely focused on a showdown between Norwegian Olympic champion Warholm and his American rival Rai Benjamin, the Tokyo bronze medallist had the victory in hand down the final straight in a championship record.

Dos Santos exploded off the blocks and stretched his arms out wide as he glided through the finish with ease and held his hand to his ear, urging on cheers from the crowd after the remarkable upset.

Benjamin had a fighting chance until the ninth hurdle, when he slowed dramatically before finishing more than half a second slower for his second consecutive world silver.

American Trevor Bassitt just barely edged Wilfried Happio for the bronze in his first outdoor championships.


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