New world champion Jake Wightman is aiming for a summer hat-trick after being inspired by Lord Coe.
The 28-year-old, who won a surprise 1500m title at the World Championships last month, is planning more success ahead of the start of athletics at Tuesday’s Commonwealth Games.
Wightman will start his campaign of games on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s 1500m final and will compete in the 800m at next month’s European Championships.
World Athletics Championships President Coe, who has won two Olympic 1500m titles, believes Wightman could become Britain’s top middle-distance runner with next year’s world championships and the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Wightman said: “He was one of the confirmations I needed to do the 1500m at Commies. At first I thought I would do the 800m, but I didn’t think I could come back and do another 1500m at the championships.
“It’s not even about handling the pressure, it’s about getting up mentally, the warm-up, the laps. I was afraid of having to do it again.
“As I read the articles (about Coe) and spoke to a few people, I realized it was a good opportunity and what would he have done in that situation?
“He would have tried to win as many titles as possible.
“Part of me realized pretty quickly that I would hate not being on the start line in the 1500m and fighting for the win. This is a pretty unique circumstance to come away from Worlds and Commies victory in the same year.
“The motivation I have is, ‘How much better can I do this summer?'”
Wightman has been in demand since his shock win when he passed Olympic gold medalist Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the final 200m at Hayward Field.
Dad and trainer Geoff commented at the stadium and prodded him into the public eye too, and Wightman had to look after the extra attention.
He said: “The first few days were quite manic and it was something I was initially looking forward to, lots of media stuff. Talk to the news channels and programs you would like to be on.
“But after a few 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 few days of it but since then I’ve been pretty calm and just getting on with my training.
“I’ve been thinking, this is potentially a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I hope to do that again, win Olympic or world gold, but I’m lucky to have done it once and there’s no guarantee it will happen again, so now I have to make the best of it.
“Hopefully the opportunities are still there after the season which is why there will be more of that if I can win a Commonwealth Gold to enjoy and capitalize on.
“I see this as an opportunity to add to my CV, which I would not have been able to do under normal circumstances this year. It was okay to rule it out for now. I know I still have to finish the season.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/jake-wightman-jakob-ingebrigtsen-paris-commonwealth-b2135864.html Jake Wightman aims for summer hat-trick after being inspired by Lord Coe