The 2022 world 1500m champion is back in competitive action in Boston this weekend for the first time in over a year
Jake Wightman’s return to racing is set to be one of the highlights of the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston on Sunday (Feb 4).
It is just over a year since a freak foot injury doing plyometric work set off a chain reaction of issues which meant he was unable to defend that world title in Budapest last summer.
His last race came on January 8, 2023, when he was pipped to victory by Phil Sesemann over 3000m at the BMC Sheffield Indoor Grand Prix. After a long and frustrating wait, he will lace up his racing spikes to tackle the 1500m in Boston this weekend before heading to Australia to compete at the Maurie Plant Meeting in Melbourne on February 15 in search of an Olympic qualifying time.
In an exclusive interview in the February issue of AW, he says: “It is the most consistent spell I’ve had since this time last year. I’m in a similar situation to how I was last year [before the injuries] which is ready enough to race but not obviously at my fittest point of the year.
“The biggest test was always going to be stepping back into a race pace stuff. The fact that the last time I really got ready to race was the summer of 2022 it feels like a long time since I’ve been doing this sort of work and it’s just getting used to the feeling of hurting yourself again on the track.
“It’s a very different thing going through lactate and an anaerobic session where your legs can’t move much. That’s the kind of thing that I enjoy and it’s nice to find I’m in a fit enough place that I can feel that hurt again.”
Wightman adds: “I don’t do this sport to train and I especially don’t do it to cross train. Racing is the one thing that I’m in the sport for and to be able to get back and do it when you haven’t been able to for so long… it’s something that is going to be quite a rewarding feeling, I hope.”
Wightman faces world road mile champion is up against, among others, world road mile champion Hobbs Kessler, plus the world road mile bronze medallist Sam Prakel of the United States, in addition to Wightman’s training partner Tom Keen.
Elsewhere, world 100m and 200m champion Noah Lyles faces 2022 world 100m champion and fellow American Fred Kerley over 60m.
World 800m champion Marco Arop of Canada and world indoor 800m champion…