JOSH KERR was branded a TERMINATOR as he pulled off Britain’s greatest 1500m escapology act in world athletics history…since the last one 13 months ago.
Just like compatriot Jake Wightman in the summer of 2022, nobody gave Kerr a chance of hijacking the formidable Jakob Ingebrigtsen in Budapest on Wednesday night.
Josh Kerr raised the flag after his stunning victory in Budapest[/caption]
Kerr pulled off an amazing last 200m to beat icon Jakob Ingebrigtsen[/caption]
But the Norwegian maestro’s pocket was picked for a second year running thanks to a bold and brilliant manoeuvre by a Scottish runner with 200m left of this incredible final.
The Power of Scotland was strong as Kerr, 25, pulled off the exact same move that worked so superbly for Wightman in Eugene to claim a first global gold.
The Olympic bronze medallist was even wearing the same type of striped GB vest that Wightman had on in Eugene in an attempt to intimidate Ingebrigtsen, who woke on Wednesday with a sore throat.
And the mind games worked as a treat as he tracked the Scandinavian star once the bell went for the final lap, held on strongly down the home straight and crossed the finish line in 3:29.38.
Kerr said: “It’s been a long time coming. It’s quite an overwhelming experience. But I’m so proud of myself, my team and my family.
“I didn’t feel like I ran my best race either. I just threw my whole 16 years of this sport into that last 200m and didn’t let up to the end.
“It was fast early but I stayed calm. I knew I was capable of a world championship gold medal for GB so I’m very glad to add to that medal count.
“Obviously there’s a very big reminisce of Wightman in there. I was battling with Jakob pretty hard.
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“You can see from my face that I’m throwing everything I had at this guy. We were both fighting.
“I wanted this for my whole life. I made sure I pumped all the way home. I’m so happy.
“With 50m to go I kind of broke him. It was just about holding form at that point. I’ve had bronze but gold is a lot sweeter.”
Kerr, who needed to use his elbows to barge rivals out of the way in the early laps, wears Oakley sunglasses as part of a lucrative contract.
The US-based athlete will now head to the Paris 2024 Olympics as the reigning world champion – and what a final that promises to be in the French capital.
Scotsman Neil Gourley came ninth out of 12 competitors but was “hanging on for dear life”.
He added: “I didn’t have much left. It happens, it’s sport, it’s fuel for next year as I have work to do.
“I’m really happy for Josh, I could tell this was coming, I knew he would be right up there.
“The way he has carried himself, the way he has been looking, he has been full of confidence.”
Wightman, who was working for BBC TV, was chuffed for his best pal and joked he was “like a terminator” for producing the perfect race like a robot.
He said: “It stays in Edinburgh AC. Our little club in Edinburgh has had back-to-back world champs, that’s hard to believe.”
Elsewhere on day five of the World Athletic Championships, MOLLY CAUDERY excelled in her first global final, nailing a personal best of 4.75m in the women’s pole vault final.
The Cornish leaper, 23, started this year in a protective boot after undergoing right hell and Achilles surgery.
But the reigning British champion was unable to get up and over 4.80 metres, which meant she came joint fifth and missed out on the medals.
AIMEE PRATT did not progress to the final of the women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase, finishing in seventh place in heat one in a time of 9:26.37.
ANNA PURCHASE made the women’s hammer final – the first woman to do so since Sophie Hitchon six years ago – with a throw of 71.31 m.