We take a statistical look at the new world champion at 1500m
Jake Wightman has been one of the world’s leading and most consistent 1500m runners for the last five years, but even though he was British champion there was still more attention on his Scottish rival Josh Kerr on the eve of the World Championships in Eugene.
On the day of the 1500m final, The Times printed a one-page article on Kerr without a single mention of Wightman, but based on his 2022 form, it was clear he had an excellent medal chance although the thought of him sprinting past Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen 200m out hadn’t really been entertained by even the most enthusiastic British supporter!
Post race it was clear Wightman, who gave brilliant interviews, was highly respected by his fellow athletes and opponents and they were genuinely pleased for him.
Jake Wightman in Oregon 2022
While the women’s 1500m consisted of a ridiculously first lap, the men’s 1500m was just a fast steady race throughout which pretty much follows what happened in Doha in 2019 and Tokyo 2021.
Basic speed did not come into it – Wightman’s fastest 100m was 13.47 on the final bend as he went ahead but his 100m prior to that (13.65) and final 100m (13.64) were only slightly slower.
It’s noticeable that earlier in the race, Ingebrigtsen was going slightly faster on the straights than the bends and the Norwegian’s quickest 100m was 13.42 to move into the lead between 600m and 700m.
Jake’s 100m splits
100m: 3rd 13.70
200m: 4th 27.76 (14.06)
300m 4th 41.72 (13.96)
400m: 4th 55.75 (14.03)
500m: 5th 1:10.05 (14.30)
600m: 5th 1:24.29 (14.24)
700m: 4th 1:38.06 (13.77)
800m: 4th 1:52.41 (14.35)
900m: 3rd 2:06.19 (13.78)
1000m: 3rd 2:20.40 (14.21)
1100m: 3rd 2:34.39 (13.99)
1200m: 3rd 2:48.47 (14.08)
1300m: 1st 3:02.12 (13.65)
1400m: 1st 3:15.59 (13.47)
1500m: 1st 3:29.23 (13.64)
Laps from start: 55.75, 56.66, 56.06, 40.76
Laps from finish: 41.72, 56.34, 56.33, 54.84
Wightman was clearly stronger than in Tokyo and though he ran fast in qualifying in Eugene (3:35.31 and 3:34.48) he did not attempt to win the heats and held back better than in Tokyo (where he ran 3:41.18 and had an impressive semi final win in 3:33.48).
In Japan, Wightman had looked superb in that semi where he set a season’s best but he seemed to pay in the 1500m final for moving up fast from 700m to 800m (13.5 as he passed 800m in 1:52.5) to close right up on the leaders but that seemingly finished him off and he drifted back to be 10th in 3:35.09.
His 800m time in Eugene was almost identical to Tokyo but he run the last 500 metres almost six seconds quicker.
This year he got in a better position earlier and didn’t make an expansive move until the last backstraight where he passed Timothy Cheruiyot and moved up to Ingebrigtsen’s shoulder.
Major championships record
Wightman’s previous major victory was nine years earlier when he won the European under-20 title in Rieti.
Looking closely it doesn’t look it was the best of years and none of his opponents have really made their mark internationally as seniors.
The PB of runner-up Turkey’s Suleyman Bekmezci is still only 3:41.47 set in 2016 but his only known race in 2022 is a 67:56 half-marathon.
The bronze medallist Julius Lawnik of Germany has also been largely anonymous and has a PB of 3:42.83 and has not finished a race of note in 2022.
He made the European 1500m final in 2016 but ended up half a second down on the medals who included the two Ingebrigtsen brothers Filip (3:46.65) and Henrik (3:47.18) who were first and third.
He seemingly moved up a level in 2017. winning a good quality Bislett Games 1500m (above) but then got eliminated in the world semi-finals at London.
He fared better in 2018 with a Commonwealth bronze in 3:35.97 behind two world champions past and future Elijah Manangoi (3:34.78) and Cheruiyot (3:35.17).
He also won a European medal in Berlin that year as he finished a close third (3:38.25) behind 17- year-old Ingebrigtsen (3:38.10) and Poland’s ultra-consistent Marcin Lewandowski (3:38.14).
READ MORE: Wightman wins in Eugene
In Doha after squeezing into the final with a seventh place in his semi-final, he was a brilliant fifth in the final in 3:31.87 in a race won by Cheruiyot (3:29.26) and he finished between Ingebrigtsen (3:3170) and Kerr (3:32.52).
A disappointed 10th in Tokyo, he did later win he New York mile in 3:49.50.
His 2022 season saw him set a 3000m PB indoors of 7:37.81, finish third in the Dream Mile in 3:50.30 well behind Ingebrigtsen (3:46.46) and Olli Hoare (3:47.48) and he finally won a British Championships.
On that form, AW predicted a bronze medal in their World Championships preview but he did much better than that scoring his first win over Ingebrigtsen since his Norwegian rival was 15 years old!
2013 European Junior 1500m 1st 3:44.14
2014 Commonwealth Games 1500m 8th heat 3:43.87
2016 European Championships 1500m 7th 3:47.68
2017 European Team Championships 1500m 2nd 3:53.72
2017 World Championships 1500m 7th semi final 3:41.79
2018 Commonwealth Games 800m 4th 1:45.82
2018 European Championships 1500m 3rd 3:38.25
2019 World Championships 1500m 3:31.87
2021 European Team Championships 800m 1st 1:45.71
2021 Olympic 1500m 10th 3:35.09 (1st semi 3:33.48)
2022 World Championships 1500m 1st 3:29.23
The last time Wightman beat Ingebrigtsen
Bislett Games 1500m (non-DL)
1 Luke Matthews AUS 3:37.99; 2 Snorre Holtan Loken NOR 3:38.63; 3 Jake Wightman GBR 3:38.83; … 9 Jakob Ingebrigtsen NOR (15) 3:42.44
Power of 10
Power of 10 reveals Wightman has won 129 of his 367 races and his first listed victory is a 9:26.90 3000m win in the 2009 National League Final at Birmingham.
He has run 24 parkruns with a best of 14:43 from a three-minute ‘first-finish’ at Worthing in May 2019 and also ran a 14:48 at Dulwich that year.
His 10 fastest 1500m races
3:29.23 1 Eugene 2022
3:29.47 3 Monaco 2020
3:31.87 5 Doha 2019
3:32.62 1 Rabat 2022
3:33.21+ 3 Oslo 2022
3:33.48 1sf Tokyo 2021
3:33.96 12 Monaco 2018
3:34.17 1 Oslo 3:34.17
3:34.50 9 Lausanne 2019
3:34.48i 2 Staten Island 2021
Top 10 average 3:32.689 and his top 10 800m average is 1:45.068
400m: 48.34 2016
800m: 1:44.18 2020
1000m: 2:16.27 2018
1500m: 3:29.23 2022
Mile: 3:50.30 2022
3000m: 7:37.81i 2022
» To catch up with all our reports from Eugene, CLICK HERE