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Touching video shows dad commenting as son claims shocking world title


As British athlete Jake Wightman claimed a shock victory to become the men’s 1,500m world champion in Oregon on Tuesday night, it was his father, Geoff, who announced the race over the loudspeaker.

Jake Wightman finished in 3:29:23―just seconds ahead of Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Spaniard Mohamed Katir. The 28-year-old looked as surprised as anyone when he brought it home, his mouth gaping in admiration.

“Jake Wightman just had the ride of his life,” his dad announced over the loudspeakers as he crossed the line. “My voice is gone.”

Great Britain’s Jake Wightman reacts after winning the men’s 1500m final during the World Championships in Athletics at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

BIJOU SAMAD via Getty Images

Moments later, the big screen at Eugene’s Hayward Field switched to the stadium announcer. “I have to tell you why the camera is on me. It’s my son. I train him. And he’s the world champion,” he told the crowd.

Geoff Wightman, a former top marathon runner and veteran track and field commentator, has been organizing races for his son since he was a child.

“I’ve been doing his sports day at school since he was about 11 because my wife is his PE teacher,” he later said, according to The Guardian.

Jake was then photographed with mum and dad, all proud as a punch. Both parents are former athletes, his mother Susan Wightman having represented the British team in the marathon at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Geoff (left) and Susan Wightman pose with their son, gold medalist Jake Wightman, after the men's 1500 meters final at the World Championships in Athletics.
Geoff (left) and Susan Wightman pose with their son, gold medalist Jake Wightman, after the men’s 1500 meters final at the World Championships in Athletics.

When asked what he thought of his father’s comments, Jake Wightman said he hardly noticed his voice on the speakerphone anymore, although he noted that he could sometimes be “a bit of a robot at the microphone”.

“I hope he broke down today. It will be interesting to see him again. My mum was in tears, someone was crying! he said.

But dad says he has to stay professional.

“Crowds have gotten bigger, stadiums have gotten bigger but the threat is always that if I’m not fair or start coaching on the mic I’ll be taken out of the 1500m and I love the 1500m,” he told the BBC.

“It’s his achievement. I’m in the background sputtering.

Jake Wightman was born in England but races for Scotland, where he grew up. This victory is by far his greatest achievement. He won bronze in the 1500m at the European Championships and Commonwealth Games in 2018, but did not qualify for the 2016 Olympics and finished 10th in Tokyo in 2020.




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