World champion Jake Wightman into Commonwealth Games 1500m final
- Scot wins heat in 3:48.34; teammate Josh Kerr also through
- ‘It was special, that’s the most it’s sunk in’
Scotland’s Jake Wightman admits his world title win has finally sunk in at the Commonwealth Games. The 28-year-old, who won shock 1500m gold at the world championships in Eugene last month, eased into Saturday’s final.
Wightman clocked 3mins 48.34sec to win his heat at the Alexander Stadium on Thursday. It was the first time he has been announced – by stadium commentator, dad and coach Geoff – as the world champion since July’s victory in Oregon.
He said: “It was special, it was a confidence boost if you get announced as that. That’s the most it’s sunk in because that is what I was waiting for, to be announced as world champion, and be like: ‘Yeah, I’ve actually done that’.
“It was nice walking around before with a lot of people coming up to me and saying: ‘Well done.’ I still got less of a cheer than Matt Stonier from England but I guess there are more English fans than Scottish fans.
“I felt I should dictate it at some point and I was surprised we went so slow as a second heat as there are guys who should go through as fastest losers who won’t. It’s hard to sometimes get motivated as there is a lot more to lose than gain so it’s good to go out there, feel good and qualify comfortably.”
Teammate Josh Kerr, who won Olympic bronze last year, qualified in 3:37.84 seconds, with Neil Gourley progressing and England’s Elliot Giles and Stonier also through.
Elaine Thompson-Herah, who won the 100m title on Wednesday, reached the 200m semi-final in 22.80. Scotland’s Beth Dobbin also qualified for Friday’s semi in 23.10.
On the men’s side, European champion Zharnel Hughes ran 20.30 to win his 200m heat while Adam Gemili won his heat in 20.92.
“It was a nice easy run, I qualified nicely which was the plan,” said Hughes. “There are no need for statements, if you make statements now it’s not going to happen for you in the final. When the final comes, you unleash the beast.”