Wightman scores ‘hurricane’ win by beating Ingebrigtsen to claim 1500m world title | REPORT | World Cup 22


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Briton Jake Whiteman stunned the Olympic champion, the reigning world champion and himself on World Championships in Athletics Oregon22 on Tuesday (19), running the race of his life to win the 1500m title.

The 28-year-old European and Commonwealth bronze medalist, reaching the world’s best PB of 3:29.23, left Jakob Ingebrigtsen unanswered as he raced down the finish line, staring ahead. As the finish line approached, the Briton first spread his arms wide, and then raised his hands in disbelief to his head. Norwegian Olympic champion Ingebrigtsen followed him home in 3:29.47, while Spaniard Mohamed Katir took bronze in 3:29.90.

“This is my son,” came a voice over the loudspeaker, announcing the race by stadium announcer Jeff 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 strength over the winter, returning to cross-country racing and doing long-distance work when he refocused on Oregon.

Having achieved his goal of staying undetected throughout the rounds, he took his place on the starting line of Hayward Field with Ingebrigtsen to his left and Katir to his right. Kenyan Abel Kipsang, who had the fastest time before the start of the race, came straight ahead and passed Ingebrigtsen and reigning Kenyan champion Timothy Cheruiyot, with Wightman sitting behind them. Ingebrigtsen, who broke the indoor 1500m world record in 3:30.60 in February, took the lead with two laps to go, with Kipsang and Cheruiyot on his shoulder, with Wightman watching their every move.

The bell had Ingebrigtsen of Cheruiyot and Wightman with Kipsang running on his shoulder. Judging by the race to perfection, the Briton was the first to overtake Cheruiyot, taking the lead, ahead of Ingebrigtsen with just over 200 meters to go.

When he came out of the turn, Ingebrigtsen’s expected punch never came. Glancing over his shoulder, the Norwegian looked like he knew he had lost and got the silver, followed by Katir and his Spanish teammate Mario Garcia, who ran 3:30.20 to finish fourth.

Wightman’s British compatriot Josh Kerr – 1500 m Olympic bronze medalist – finished fifth in 3:30.60 ahead of Cheruiyot (3:30.69) and Kipsang (3:31.21).

“I may not get the hang of it until I retire,” said Wightman, who ran the 800m in 1:44.18 in February and clocked 7:37.81 in the 3000m indoors. “This is madness. I had such a disappointing year in Tokyo last year. I don’t think people realize how terrible it was to have such high expectations and walk away hoping for a medal and end up in 10th place.”

His parents – both former elite marathon runners – were at Hayward Field to see him win, his father spoke into the commentary microphone and his mother Susan in the stands.

“Daddy can sometimes be a bit of a robot at the microphone,” smiled Wightman Jr., whose time in Oregon is the third fastest in World Championship history. “Someone says that he is a robot, someone says that he is a professional. I hope he broke it today. My mother was in tears, so someone was crying.”

Reflecting on the race, he added: “The strength for me is that if I can get there with 200 meters to go, I will always be moving because that is how I feel best in running. As soon as the opportunity arose to pass, I just wanted to lead the turn. The only benefit of having a good 800m PB in races like this is if you still have 200m to go, which I haven’t been able to do in previous years.

“Even when I was going to the finish line, I felt strong, but Jakob is a beast and I never knew if he could pass.”

But he didn’t. The last lap of Wightman showed a time of 54.84, Ingebrigtsen – 55.24. In Tokyo, the Norwegian clocked 54.42 in the final 400m.

“I felt good, but I couldn’t keep up with Jake in the last 200 meters,” Ingebrigtsen said. “I own it. I’m very disappointed that I didn’t win, but I’m very happy for him. He’s a great runner.”

He will now focus on the 5000m, which will take place on Thursday.

It was the 5000m that Katir fought at last year’s Olympics, the 24-year-old finished eighth, but after setting national records for the 1500, 3000, 5000 and 10k last year, his decision to compete in the shorter events in Oregon paid off when he won . bronze with his second best result in history.

He was closely followed by European Under-23 silver medalist and NCAA runner-up Garcia, who is running for the University of Mississippi and is the best-performing collegiate athlete.

Cheruiyot was far from his best form this season and although his presence was felt in the early stages, he lacked strength at the finish line and dropped out of the medal challenge.

Samuel Tefera of Ethiopia won the world indoor title ahead of Ingebrigtsen and Kipsang in Belgrade in March, but finished ninth in his Oregon semi-final, missing out on the final.

Jess Whittington for World Athletics

🥇 Jake Wightman 🇬🇧 UK 3:29.23 PT
🥈 Jakob Ingebrigtsen 🇳🇴 NOR 3:29.47 Sat
🥉 Mohamed Katir 🇪🇸 ESP 3:29.90 Sat
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