Jake Wightman, who grew up in Cranleigh, was nominated as the first British male middle-distance runner to win a Global Gold Medal for 38 years.
The former pupil of Cranleigh’s Parkmead School was encouraged to run by teacher Catherine Edwards, a passionate lover of running.
He won most of his races at Park Mead along with his brother Sam also a good runner.
Jake, who was nominated with five other sportsmen and women, said:
I am buzzing just to be able to say I was nominated for the BBC Sports Personality this year – a show I have watched every year since I can remember, so a huge dream ticked off.”
Jake secured Great Britain’s first gold medal of this year’s World Athletics Championships, and it was made that bit more special as his dad was in the commentary box. Jake was running in a competitive field featuring Jakob Ingebrigsten, Abel Kipsang, Timothy Cheruiyot and Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Josh Kerr.
Some years ago, Jake told the Cranleigh Magazine:
We started running at Park Mead school. There were a few teachers who organised a cross country club. The first was a guy called Russell Withers and then Catherine Edwards followed on after him. She would take us to the Cross Country league over at Tillingbourne and I ran the Surrey Schools cross country and was given a Surrey Schools vest when I was in year five, the first time I ran for Surrey schools. Looking back on it now, having gone to a higher level, it’s obviously not a big deal but at the time it was something I was pretty proud of. I was young for my age group when I got it and got into the Southern Schools team on the back of it and raced against boys who were two years older than me.