World Champion Jake Wightman to Commonwealth Games 1500m final | Commonwealth Games 2022

Scottish Jake Wightman admits his confidence is skyrocketing as he chases a golden treble. The 28-year-old, who won a shocking gold in the 1500 meters at the World Championships in Eugene last month, walked through his Commonwealth Games qualifying round on Thursday.

Wightman clocked a time of 3:48.34 seconds to win at Alexander Stadium and comfortably reach Saturday’s final.

It is the next step in his quest to add the Commonwealth title in the 1500m and the 800m crown at next month’s European Championships to his world gold.

It was also the first time he was announced — by stadium commentator, father and coach Geoff — as the world champion since July’s win in Oregon.

He said: “It was special, it was a confidence boost when you were announced like that. That’s the most it’s sunk into, because that’s what I was waiting for, to be proclaimed world champion, and to be like ‘yes, I really did that’.

“It was nice to walk around in the old days with a lot of people coming up to me and saying ‘well done’. I still got less cheers than Matt Stonier from England, but I think there are more English fans than Scottish fans.”

About the race he said: “I felt I had to dictate it at some point and I was surprised that we went as slow as a second moto as there are guys who should go through as fastest losers who won’t.

“It’s hard to get motivated sometimes because there’s a lot more to lose than to win, so it’s good to get out there, feel good and qualify comfortably.”

Teammate Josh Kerr, who won Olympic bronze last year, qualified in 3:37.84 seconds, while Scotsman Neil Gourley advanced and England duo Elliot Giles and Stonier also through.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, who won the title in the 100 meters on Wednesday, reached the semifinals of the 200 meters in 22.80 seconds. Scotland’s Beth Dobbin also qualified for Friday’s semi-final in 23.10 seconds.

European Champion Zharnel Hughes ran 20.30 seconds to win his 200m heat, while Adam Gemili won his heat in 20.92 seconds.

Gemili, who split from coach Rana Reider just days before the Games – under investigation over multiple allegations of sexual misconduct – is aiming to move on after a disappointing World Cup where he failed to make it past the 200m heats.

He said: “I’ve left Oregon behind, you can’t hold on to those things, it was a disappointing performance, but you have to keep looking forward and this was always in the back of my mind to get some redemption.

“It was an early start, so I wanted to use as little energy as possible. The sound was ridiculous. This is absolutely contrary to how I felt in London 2012, it was breathtaking.

“We need to organize more events in the UK, you can see there is definitely a market for athletics.”

Sign up for The Recap, our weekly editor’s picks email.

Lawrence Okoye took silver in the discus final with a throw of 64.99 m, while Australian Matthew Denny took the win.

England’s Andrew Pozzi claimed bronze, but Jamaican Rasheed Broadbell won the 110m hurdles in 13.08 seconds on Thursday evening.

Leave a Comment