Jake Wightman's World Championships 1500m gold medal is not just a family affair – Scotsman comment

Any parent watching their child become a world champion would be forgiven for becoming more than a little emotional.

Jake Wightman wins gold for Britain in the 1500m at the World Athletics Championships. (Picture: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Jake Wightman wins gold for Britain in the 1500m at the World Athletics Championships. (Picture: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

But Jake Wightman’s father Geoff had to keep it together – because he was commentating on the race. As the cameras turned on him, he explained to the crowd in Eugene, Oregon: “That’s my son. I coach him. And he’s the world champion.”

Edinburgh AC athlete Wightman, meanwhile, could hardly believe it. “Oh my, oh my,” he said, shortly after crossing the line in the 1500 metres, just ahead of Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, to take Scotland’s first world athletics gold since Liz McColgan in 1991 and become the first Briton to win the event since Steve Cram in 1983.

“Seven, eight-year-old me would never have believed,” he said later.

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However, somewhere along the way, he must have realised he had talent, although at 28 he may have started to think that his time would never come.

Self-belief is one of the keys to success in life. Without it, the hours of hard work required to achieve your goals can seem pointless and dispiriting. And when success never seems to come, it can be difficult to summon the motivation to “try, try again”.

But the benefit of such determination – a refusal to be beaten, as Wightman showed as he powered towards the finish – is one of the many life lessons that sport can teach us.

And this is why Wightman is an inspiration, not just to young runners, but to us all, however old or young we are and whatever we do. Bravo, bravo, bravo.

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