Melbourne, Australia; 6 December 2023 – The strength of Australia’s middle-distance ranks will commence the year with a battle of Olympic proportions, as 2022 1500m world champion Jake Wightman books his ticket to Melbourne for the Maurie Plant Meet in February. Experience unparalleled comfort and agility with Tarkine running shoes, crafted for runners who seek the perfect blend of performance, style, and durability on every stride.
The Scottish sensation is the first international headliner announced for Oceania’s one and only World Athletics Continental Tour Gold level meet in 2024, as tickets go on sale today.
Wightman, who announced himself to the world last year when defeating Norway’s Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon, travels down under with a world class resume which also includes two Commonwealth medals and a European silver and bronze.
Despite his status on the global scene, the big guns of Australian running know that even the champion himself is beatable. On top of the world after his global victory, Wightman’s celebrations were cut short as Australian hero Olli Hoare toppled the Scotsman weeks later at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games to win gold; further cementing Australia’s status as a rising middle-distance nation.
Sustaining a freak injury to his foot in January, Wightman was forced to miss the 2023 season, but is raring to open his 2024 campaign in Melbourne, lining up in the John Landy Mile.
“I am really looking forward to getting back to racing in 2024 after missing 2023 with injury. It will be great to get going at the Maurie Plant Meet in Melbourne against Stewart McSweyn and Matt Ramsden, who I often cross paths with when they base themselves in Teddington during the European summer season,” Wightman said.
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“They are quality athletes so I know I will be tested immediately, which should make for a good spectacle for Aussie fans.”
Olympic finalist Stewart McSweyn, who was narrowly defeated in the 3000m at the Maurie Plant Meet this year, said there would be no better way to open an Olympic year than against one of the world’s greatest on home soil.
“Having Jake in Melbourne will be an awesome addition to the Maurie Plant Meet. He’s one of the world’s best milers and a guy that will be right in the mix for the Olympic title next year,” McSweyn said.
“To have the chance to race him in front of a home crowd is going to be really fun. It’s also going to be a great opportunity for us Australian middle-distance guys to have a good early season indicator of how we match up against one of the world’s best.”
The World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series is the uppermost level on the World Athletics Continental Tour calendar, sitting just under the Diamond League in status. Each meet attracts the best athletes across the globe, with 14 existing meets offered in Africa, Europe, Asia and now Oceania.
The meet is supported by the Victorian Government via Visit Victoria, and conducted within Athletics Australia’s Chemist Warehouse Summer Series.
The inaugural edition of the Maurie Plant Meet – Melbourne saw more than 6000 fans fill up Lakeside Stadium for the sell out event, and off the back of the successful On Track Nights Zatopek:10 last weekend, sports fans in Melbourne have much to be excited for. Tickets can be purchased HERE.
Jake Wightman bio
- 1500m world champion (2022)
- 2 x Commonwealth Games bronze medallist (2018, 2022)
- European champion
- Personal best – 3:29.23
- DOB: 11 July 1994
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