Jake Wightman (© Victah Sailer)
Britain's world 1500m champion Jake Wightman is to step up in distance and take on the 2000m when he races at the Birmingham World Indoor Tour Final, part of the 2023 World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold series, at the Utilita Arena on 25 February.
Wightman has enjoyed a landmark 2022 track season as he added European 800m silver and Commonwealth 1500m bronze to his ever-growing medal collection, following his triumph in Oregon where he beat Norway's Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen to world gold.
As he sets his targets for 2023, the Birmingham World Indoor Tour Final will see Wightman keen to impress the Utilita Arena crowd as he competes in front of home support for the first time since the Commonwealth Games in August.
The 2000m has an illustrious history at the Birmingham venue as it is where Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele set the world indoor best of 4:49.99 back in 2007.
"When I was offered the chance to run indoors over 2000m in Birmingham next February, I couldn’t resist," said Wightman. "I love testing myself over-distance and the chance to go for a fast time on that track isn’t something you get to do every day.
"The Birmingham crowd have always been amazing for me and the reception I got at the Commonwealth Games this summer after winning the World Championships was pretty memorable. If they can make half that noise for me in February, I’ll be well on my way to a fast time."
The Birmingham World Indoor Tour Final is the last of the seven meetings that in 2023 will make up the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold series. The season starts in Karlsruhe, Germany, on 27 January before stops in Boston, Torun, New York, Lievin, Madrid and then Birmingham.
Keely Hodgkinson has already been announced for the Birmingham World Indoor Tour Final, while Katie Nageotte and Sandi Morris have been named for the Millrose Games in New York.
The scoring disciplines on the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold rotate each year. Each athlete’s best three results will count towards their overall point score. The athlete with the most points in each scoring discipline at the end of the tour will be declared the winner and will be awarded a USD$10,000 bonus. They will also be offered a wild card entry for the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24.
For further information on the Birmingham World Indoor Tour Final, visit the event website.
Organisers for World Athletics
2023 World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold calendar
27 Jan – Init Indoor Meeting, Karlsruhe, Germany
4 Feb – New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, Boston, USA
8 Feb – ORLEN Copernicus Cup, Torun, Poland
11 Feb – Millrose Games, New York, USA
14 Feb – Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais, Lievin, France
22 Feb – World Indoor Tour Madrid, Madrid, Spain
25 Feb – Birmingham World Indoor Tour Final, Birmingham, UK