Whitman’s goal is to repeat the world championship with father calling the shots.


Retin, the only gold medal winner at the World Athletics Championships, was basking in the glory of his greatest moment of all time.

Somewhat incredulously, Jack Whitman was showered with praise as he bounced from race interview to interview.

Dad Jeff’s immediate response when he saw him was to bark at him “Now Commonwealth Games”, which he later found out was his son still rejoicing in his golden moments.

It was fitting that the father announced his son as the first-ever world champion at 1500 meters inside the Alexander Stadium on Thursday, a long-held ambition for the pair.

Whitman Sr., as he was in Eugene, is the athletics’ stadium commentary in Birmingham 2022. He also happens to coach his 28-year-old son.

Whiteman has a chance to win another gold tomorrow afternoon in what could be one of the Commonwealth Games races. In a truly world-class field for the final is the man who went on to become world champion over the distance, Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot.

And Birmingham 2022 is all British for home supremacy, making up half the field for the race: Whitman’s fellow Scots in Josh Kerr and Neil Gourley, the English duo of Jack Hayward of Wales, and Elliott Giles and Matthew Stonier.

After his first competitive track since an unexpected world title in which he pipped Jacob Ingebrigtsson to gold, Whitman said: “It’s great to be announced as world champion. I’ve never really thought about it. Didn’t think until it happened but it’s a real confidence booster.

Jack Whiteman celebrates winning the men’s 1500m final during the World Athletics Championships.

/ AFP via Getty Images

“It was even better just walking around the bend, just people clapping and saying good job and good luck to me. It’s special. It’s definitely the most since it happened. I I thought, ‘Yes, I’ve actually done it.

The 28-year-old has little or no time for any kind of celebration. After winning gold in the US, he went straight back home and has since been working hard to prepare for the Games on home soil, this time in Scottish rather than British colours.

There are echoes of Seb Coe and his father Peter in the athlete coach father-son relationship with Whitman, although the father-son relationship is one that is not lacking in teasing and humor.

It’s also a family affair, heightened by the fact that dad will once again commentate on a potentially nerve-wracking World Final.

For his part, Whitman Sr. regretted immediately turning his son’s attention to Birmingham instead of enjoying the moment. He said: “He didn’t like it because he needed it that night. He was going home the next day and it was a bit emotional from me really.

He likens himself to the father’s army captain figure who yells at his son within the coaching group that surrounds him, saying that the group has proven to be the sum of its parts.

Their summer goal began with a Zoom call back in May in which the Whitemans gathered with their physiotherapist Alex O’Gorman, physio Andy Shaw, strength and conditioning coach Andy Kay and sprints and drills coach Laura Turner. .

Whiteman looked good again to win his heat and admitted he was impressed with the morning’s competition after a night that saw fellow Scotsman Eilish McColgan take the biggest win of his career in the back straight. was pulled off with a brilliant sprint to stop Irene Chaptai.

“It’s very impressive,” he said. “I was shocked by him. I knew he was in good shape as we were in Colorado Springs at the same time but he had a tough few weeks.

“Her Eugene performance was probably not what she wanted it to be. I don’t think people realize how hard it must have been for her to run like she did.”