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Jake Wightman ends successful summer with silver and celebratory late-night swim

“I have not drunk for so long that it won’t take many beers,” said Jake. “I want to go down the river. The bus leaves at 10.45am, so I will take a suitcase in case I’m late. I’m going to try to get down the river tonight and hopefully be sober enough to enjoy it and not risk injury.”

If Jake’s world title victory over his preferred distance was the undoubted highlight of his summer, his ability to come back and win two more medals in his weaker event weeks later speaks to a commendable determination and resilience.

“The thing I’m proudest about is I’ve kept my head through it all because it could easily have been a s— show after the worlds,” he said. “Mentally, it was hard to come back.”

Sunday night’s European silver was agonisingly close to another gold. Nestled in the main pack for much of the race, Jake did not make his move until 200m remained – the same point he snatched the lead in the world 1,500m final.

This time, he had to run wider than desired and was only second rounding the final bend. Try as he might, he could not edge past Spain’s Mariano Garcia, who triumphed in a personal best one minute 44.85 seconds. Wightman took silver in 1:44.91, his fastest time of the season, with Ireland’s Mark English claiming bronze.

“I’d love for that to have been a gold. I came close,” said Wightman, who revealed he wants to attempt an 800/1,500m double at next year’s World Championships.

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