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Jake Wightman targeting summer hat-trick after being inspired by Lord Coe

Wightman is ready to go again after winning the 1500m world title.

Great Britain’s Jake Wightman crosses the line to win the 1500m in Eugene
Great Britain’s Jake Wightman crosses the line to win the 1500m in Eugene

New world champion Jake Wightman is targeting a summer hat-trick after being inspired by Lord Coe.

The 28-year-old, who won a shock 1500m title at the World Championships last month, is plotting more success ahead of the start of the athletics at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday.

Wightman starts his Games campaign on Thursday, ahead of Saturday’s 1500m final, and will compete in the 800m at next month’s Europeans.

World Athletics president Coe, who won two Olympic 1500m titles, believes Wightman could become Britain’s most successful middle distance runner with next year’s World Championships and the 2024 Olympics in Paris to come.

Wightman said: “He was one of the validations I needed to be doing the 1500m at Commies. Initially I thought I would do the 800m, I didn’t think I could come back out and do another 1500m at champs.

“It’s not even dealing with the pressure but mentally getting up for it, the warm up, the rounds. I dreaded having to do it again.

“When I read the articles (on Coe) and spoke to a few people, the realisation was it was a good opportunity and what would he have done in that situation?

“He would have tried to take as many titles as possible.

“Part of me realised pretty quickly I would hate not to be on the start line on the 1500m and challenge for the win. This is a pretty unique circumstance to come away from the Worlds and Commies win in the same year.

“The motivation I have is ‘how much better can I make this summer?'”

Wightman has been in demand since his shock win, when he outkicked Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the final 200m at Hayward Field.

Dad and coach Geoff commentated inside the stadium, also propelling him into the public eye, and Wightman has had to wrap his head around the added attention.

He said: “The first few days were pretty manic and it was something I initially looked forward to doing, a lot of the media stuff. Speaking to the news channels and programmes you’d love to be on.

“But after a couple of days it got pretty tiring. It was like ‘I’m not really thinking about what I have to do for the rest of the season, I’m still looking back’.

“I had a couple of days of it but since then I’ve been pretty quiet and just getting on with my training.

“I’ve thought about it, this is potentially a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I hope to do this again, win an Olympic or world gold, but I’m fortunate to have done it once and there’s no guarantee it will happen again so I need to make the most of it now.

“Hopefully the opportunities are still there post-season which is why, if I can win a Commonwealth gold, there will be more of them to enjoy and capitalise on.

“I see this as an opportunity to add to my CV which I wouldn’t have been able to do this year in normal circumstances. It’s been alright to shut it out for now. I know I still have to finish the season.”

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