Steve Cram praises Jake Wightman’s courage in winning world championship gold

Steve Cram praised Jake Wightman’s audacity to fight for victory after the Brit won a stunning gold medal in the men’s 1,500m at the World Championships.

Wightman secured the country’s first win at the event since Cram in 1983 when he broke through at Eugene with 200 yards to go and fended off a field that included Olympic gold medalist Jakob Ingebrigtsen.

Cram told the BBC: “What I loved about it was the move with 200m to go. It was brave.

“That was quick. It would have been very easy to say I’ll just sit here and see what I can get down the stretch. No, he said, I’ll try to win this.

“That decision with 200m to go got him to try and win the race. I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Wightman crossed the line in a championship record 3 minutes 29.23, with Ingebrigtsen second and Spain’s Mohamed Katir third.

It marked a significant turning point for the 28-year-old after he finished 10th at the Tokyo Olympics last year.

Cram said: “It’s just a great story because he’s the kind of athlete that so many others can look up to.

“As a junior he didn’t break any records, age group records or anything. Just steady, steady progress, a genuine commitment to what he does, believes in himself.

“He’s not bold, he’s just waiting until he’s ready and has performed there.

“He is a very intelligent runner. I don’t know too many people who have better racing brains.

“When he’s fit, he puts himself in exactly the right positions.”

Ingebrigtsen had led with a lap to go but the Nottingham-born Wightman timed his move perfectly to take the biggest win of his career.

Former British long-distance runner Paul Radcliffe was impressed with his tactics.

Paula Radcliffe also praised Wightman’s tactics (Image: Tim Goode/PA)

(PA Archive)

Radcliffe said: “It was stunning the way he ran away (from Ingebrigtsen). You said Jakob was unbeatable.

“Instinct told him he was in good shape to go and he carried him to the line. It was nice to watch. He did everything he could to reach that line.

“He has a quiet confidence. It’s one thing to know you can win it. It’s another thing to win it. He chose his moment and gave it 100 percent.”

Wightman’s teammate Josh Kerr, the Olympic bronze medalist, finished fifth.

Kerr said, “This is great, so great for Jake. I’m disappointed in myself but proud of my teammate Jake.

“I couldn’t think of a more deserving guy, such a legend, so kind, hardworking, honest and I’m super proud of what he’s accomplished.” Steve Cram praises Jake Wightman’s courage in winning world championship gold

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