Young British milers start to build on the Olympic legacy

It has been one 'L' of a Legacy. While the 65,000 ticket-only guests raised a glass to the first birthday of the infant London 2012 Olympics, and to Jess, Mo and Co, there was a drop of considerably greater vintage to savour as the Emsley Carr Mile clocked up another milestone at the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games yesterday.

The history of the race stretches back 60 years — all the way to a summer of royal celebrations. It was inaugurated in 1953, in memory of Sir Emsley Carr, long-time editor of the News of the World, and has been graced by the greats of middle distance running for six decades now.

The Emsley Carr Mile Trophy is a book bound in the same red Moroccan leather used for the Queen's Coronation Bible in 1953 and includes the names, times and signatures of every athlete who has taken part. The list of past winners includes nine Olympic champions (Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett, Kip Keino, John Walker, Said Aouita, Murray Halberg,Haile Gebrselassie, William Tanui and Venuste Niyongabo) and seven men who have held the world mile record (Coe, Ovett, Walker, Filbert Bayi, Hicham El Guerrouj, Derek Ibbotson and Jim Ryun).

It was in some pretty hallowed footsteps, then, that young Jake Wightman was preparing to follow as he stepped into the cauldron of the 2012 Olympic arena and took his place on the start line. "And in lane six, Jake Wightman of Great Britain, European Junior 1500m champion," the stadium announcer said, as he ran through the 20-man field.

It just so happened that the man behind the mic – reprising a role he performed with distinction at London 2012 – was Jake Wightman's father and coach. Geoff Wightman is a former international marathon runner – oh, and head of road running at UK Athletics, and one of the track and field world's leading announcers.

Considering that Jake's mother, Susan, ran for Britain in the 1988 Olympic marathon in Seoul, Wightman Jnr has been blessed with some impressive genes. He made good use of them last Sunday with the flying finish that won him his European Junior 1500m title at Rieti in Italy.

That supreme effort took its toll with a lap and a half to go yesterday as the 19-year-old Scot dropped off the pace. "That was rubbish," Wightman maintained as he left the arena. "I didn't do myself justice."

Still, 17th place in 4min 00.62sec was by no means a disgrace. It took a whopping 26sec off the Loughborough University student's two-year-old personal best for the mile. "I thought my dad played it well," he added. "If he'd bigged me up on the start line I would have felt stupid."

Up ahead of the emerging Wightman, Charlie Grice, won the battle of the Britons in the race, finishing 13th in 3:54.61, a lifetime best. The 19-year-old is a member of the Brighton Phoenix club that has produced two Emsley Carr Mile champions: Steve Ovett and Mark Rowland. The winner yesterday, in 3:50.01, was Augustin Choge of Kenya.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power