Jake Wightman went one better than his fourth place finish in the 800m to bag a brilliant 1500m bronze on the final night of track and field at the Carrara Stadium.
The talented middle-distance man ran a great race in the 800m, only to see a medal slip from his grasp in the final few metres; lining up in the 1500m final he was determined to go one better and that’s exactly what he did.
Delivering a flawless tactical performance, Wightman was well placed as the field passed through the bell, making his move down the back straight and kicking into overdrive with 200m to go as he assumed the bronze medal position. From here a medal never looked in doubt, as he chased down Kenyan’s Elijah Manangoi and Timothy Cheruiyot, who finished one-two at last summer’s World Championships, to take bronze.
Crossing the line in 3.35.97, less than a second down on the winner, Wightman was delighted to win his first major medal.
“After missing out on a medal in the 800 I knew I had to come here and get one – I just trusted myself on the last lap. I knew the Kenyan’s were going to be tough to beat and that it would probably be a scrap for bronze but I’m so glad it’s come off like it has. It’s definitely given me confidence that I can double up in the future too.”
Chris O’Hare was also in action, he too acquitting himself well to finish eighth in 3.39.04, despite not being in the kind of shape to challenge for medals due to an injury earlier this year.
Team Scotland’s Women’s 4x400m Relay team broke the Scottish record, which has stood since Delhi 2010, but it still wasn’t enough to win a medal, such was the standard of the event. A quality quartet of Zoey Clark, Kirsten McAslan, Lynsey Sharp and Eilidh Doyle took to the track and produced a performance to be proud of, crossing the line sixth in 3.29.08, nearly two seconds quicker than the previous best.
Doyle was in fact in that team in Delhi, and after running the anchor leg on the Gold Coast commented: “I think this is the first time I’ve run in a Scotland 4x400m team since Delhi when we last broke the record. We knew it was always going to be tough and it would have been nice to have a qualifying round the day before to get a feel for it, but you can’t ask for any more than breaking the Scottish record – the girls have done a really good job.”
Stepping up in distance were Eilish McColgan and Steph Twell, the pair going in the 5,000m having already run the 1500m at the start of the week. After a slow start the pace quickly hotted up causing the field to fracture, but McColgan was more than a match for it, coming home sixth as she did in the 1500m.
“That was tough – I was struggling over the last four laps but I kept plugging away and I managed to catch a couple of the girls ahead. Running two rounds of the 1500m and the 5,000m has been a good learning experience but this isn’t quite where I want to be. Maybe the races were just a little bit too close – I’m almost there but not quite.”
Twell was to the fore early on but having already raced twice was understandably tired, eventually finishing 14th in 16.05.65.
Nikki Manson made her Commonwealth Games debut in the Women’s High Jump Final and competed well to finish seventh with a best of 1.84m. Sailing over 1.75m at the first time of asking, the youngster then went over 1.80m and 1.84m but bowed out at 1.87m.
The final Team Scotland athletes in action will take to the roads tomorrow morning, as Sammi Kinghorn goes in the Women’s T54 Marathon at 06:10hrs (21:10hrs UK time) and Callum Hawkins and Robbie Simpson line up in the Men’s Marathon at 08.15hrs (23:15hrs UK time).