IT’S BRONZE FOR SCOTLAND.. AND MY BOY HAS JUST WON IT
Commentator’s voice cracks as his son wins a medal
“And it ’ s bronze for Scotland…”
The announcer’s voice cracked with emotion around the Carrara Stadium as Jake Wightman crossed the line.
Why wouldn’t it? When a father sees a son pull off one of the runs of his life to reach the podium in a race laced with genuine world class?
The 23- year- old stormed home behind Kenyan world No1 and 2 Elijah Manangoi and Timothy Cheruiyot to take Scotland’s fourth athletics gong of the Games and their 42nd overall, their first men’s 1500m medal in 40 years.
His was unique though, with dad Geoff – who ran in the 1990 Games – doing the voiceover for the day of his dreams.
With mum Susan and sister Martha there handing him his lap-of-honour, See-You-Jimmy hat, it was a full family
affair, and after fourth in the 800m, Wightman grinned: “My sister’s ginger so I’m surprised this isn’t her actual hair.
“There were so many Saltires around the crowd as well. It was great it wasn’t just an Aussie crowd.
“I didn’t know they were going to give me the hat but if the opportunity is there, why not put it on?
“I didn’t go full Mark Dry and put the kilt on – my legs can’t quite pull that off!
“The last 200 of the victory lap was definitely my slowest though. The crowd were great on that victory lap.
It’s something that, when I came away with fourth in the 800, you just leave the stadium and you’re treated like nothing, while this time you get to do your victory lap, get your medal, have the medal ceremony. I’m so glad to go home with something to show from these champs.”
Asked if he’d heard his dad’s words as he crossed the line, he smiled: “There might have been a, ‘ To be fair the one time I thought he might have cracked would be now’. But he still kept his cool.
“He’s still commentating as we speak, so it hasn’t affected him too much but I hope he’s ecstatic on the inside because he’s put so much work in for me.
“Since the age of 13 or 14. This is definitely for him and everything he’s done. He does the thinking for me and I just run. This is definitely more his medal than mine.” With the Kenyans looking for a 1-2-3, Wightman poured on the pressure coming round the final bend.
With 200m to go, he took the rest of the field out of play down the back straight, finishing a full second and a hal f ahead of four th- pl aced Englishman Charlie Grice.
John Robson was the last Scot to medal in the race in 1978 in Edmonton and Wightman – the only European to win a Diamond League 1500 in a decade when he beat Manangoi in Oslo last year – said: “It’s great to have a part in history and hopefully it starts the bal l roll ing for middle- distance running again.
“Everyone knew the Kenyans were the class acts in the field so when they went, I was hoping I could pick them off in the final 200. But a medal was what I came to get so I’m ecstatic to get that.
“I got away from Manangoi once last year and I’d love to do it again. It’s funny, he mentioned it today, said I’d smacked his a**e in Oslo!”
Meanwhi le, Eil ish McColgan revealed she didn’t even think she was going to finish the 5000m with four laps left.
The 27-year-old came in 21 seconds behind winner Hellen Obiri in sixth, with Steph Twell back in 14th, but was dizzy as she left the track in stifling heat and humidity. And she admitted: “I still feel a bit strange right now.
“I train in heat so I’m used to it, but I don’t usually feel like this after a race. With four laps to go, I seriously thought, ‘ I don’ t
know if I’m going to make it…’ Then I came back a bit towards the end, managed to plough through.
“It ’s annoying and frustrating because I feel it can’t have gone any better, physically, in training. But again I’ve just fallen f lat when it comes to getting a medal.”
Scotland’s 4x400 women’s relay squad – anchored by Eilidh Doyle – broke the national record in 3.29:18 but still trailed home in sixth place, while Nikki Manson took seventh in the women’s high jump final.
Bel lshil l ’s Kirsty Gilmour took badminton bronze to add to her Glasgow silver. The 24-year-old fought bravely against former world No1 Saina Nehwal in her semi-final, coming from eight points down to take the second set before losing the decider 21-17.
FAST LADIES Eilidh Doyle, and left, Eilish McColgan FIGHTER Kirsty Gilmour won badminton bronze