Scotland’s Jake Wightman admits his confidence is sky high as he chases a golden treble. The 28-year-old, who won a shock 1500m gold at the World Championships in Eugene last month, strolled through his Commonwealth Games heat on Thursday.
Wightman clocked a time of 3:48.34 seconds to win at Alexander Stadium and comfortably reach Saturday’s final.
It is the next step in his quest to add the 1500m Commonwealth title and 800m crown at next month’s European Championships to his world gold.
It was also the first time he has been announced – by stadium commentator, dad and coach Geoff – as the world champion since July’s victory in Oregon.
He said: “It was special, it was a confidence boost if you get announced as that. That’s the most it’s sunk in because that is what I was waiting for, to be announced as world champion, and be like ‘yeah I’ve actually done that’.
“It was nice walking around before with a lot of people coming up to me and saying ‘well done’. I still got less of a cheer than Matt Stonier from England but I guess there are more English fans than Scottish fans.”
Regarding the race, he said: “I felt I should dictate it at some point and I was surprised we went so slow as a second heat as there are guys who should go through as fastest losers who won’t.
“It’s hard to sometimes get motivated as there is a lot more to lose than gain so it’s good to go out there, feel good and qualify comfortably.”
Teammate Josh Kerr, who won Olympic bronze last year, qualified in 3:37.84 seconds, with Scotland’s Neil Gourley progressing and the England duo Elliot Giles and Stonier also through.
Elaine Thompson-Herah, who won the 100m title on Wednesday, reached the 200m semi-final in 22.80 seconds. Scotland’s Beth Dobbin also qualified for Friday’s semi in 23.10 seconds.
European champion Zharnel Hughes ran 20.30 seconds to win his 200m heat while Adam Gemili won his heat in 20.92 seconds.
Gemili, who split from coach Rana Reider – under investigation over multiple sexual misconduct allegations – just days before the Games, is aiming to move on from a disappointing World Championships where he failed to progress from the 200m heats.
He said: “I’ve put Oregon behind me, you can’t hang onto those things, it was a disappointing performance but you need to keep looking forward and this was always in the back of my mind to get some redemption.
“It was an early start so I wanted to expend as little energy as possible. The noise was ridiculous. This absolutely rivals how I felt at London 2012, it was breathtaking.
“We need to host more events in the UK, you can see there absolutely is a market for athletics.”
Lawrence Okoye took silver in the discus final with a throw of 64.99m as Australia’s Matthew Denny took victory.
England’s Andrew Pozzi claimed bronze but Jamaica’s Rasheed Broadbell won the 110m hurdles in 13.08 seconds on Thursday evening.