Britons close their seasons by storming to victory in the 5th Avenue Mile
One day on from Emma Raducanu’s stunning US Open victory, there was more British sporting success in New York as both Jake Wightman and Jemma Reekie ended their lengthy seasons in style as they stormed to victory in the prestigious New Balance 5th Avenue Mile.
Not only was this the first time the event had seen two Scottish winners, it was just the second occasion upon which two Britons had finished first. Peter Elliott and Kirsty Wade, in 1987, are the only others to have achieved that feat.
Reekie also became the first female athlete other than Jenny Simpson – who has eight consecutive titles to her name – to win this straight road race in Manhattan since 2012.
The 23-year-old who just missed out on an 800m Olympic medal earlier this summer was racing just three days after coming fourth in the Diamond League Final in Zurich. However, she showed no ill effects and produced a trademark strong finishing kick, timing it perfectly to win in a time of 4:21.6 ahead of Nikki Hiltz in 4:23.0. Shannon Osika finished third in 4:23.2.
“I didn’t put too much thought behind it, I just kind of zoned out until the last wee bit,” she told USATF.tv.
For Wightman, this was his second Fifth Avenue Mile win as he followed up his 2018 success with a time of 3:49.6 for victory this time around, almost five seconds faster than his previous win, while his fellow Briton and Olympic 1500m finalist Jake Heyward was third in 3:50.4, the same time given to second-placed Australian Oliver Hoare.
“That’s a straight mile PB, but I feel pretty grim now,” said Wightman. “That was hard work.”