In the wake of British athlete Jake Wightman's incredible success at last week's World Championships, members of We Grew Up in Hereford remember his family's athletic background and Herefordshire links.

Mr Wightman won a gold medal in the 1500m at the championships, held in Eugene, Oregon, last Tuesday.

Lord Sebastian Coe said after his victory that Wightman could become Britain's greatest ever middle distance runner.

His success shouldn't come as much surprise to anyone who followed the athletics background of Mr Wightman's mother, Susan and his aunt Angela.


The Tooby twins, identical sisters Angela and Susan, were among the best distance runners in the world in the 1980's.

Growing up in Woolhope, near Hereford, and attending Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School the sisters, known as the 'Tooby twins' swept all before them in local athletics championships, before both went on to represent their country at multiple international athletics meets.

Angela Tooby won a bronze medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games, and finished ninth in the 10,000 metres race at the European Athletics Championships that year.

Mr Wightman's mother, Susan Tooby, now Wightman, finished 12th in the 10,000m in the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988, and sixth in the Commonwealth Games

two years earlier.

At the 1988 Great North Run, she became the first British woman to run a sub-70-minute half-marathon, running 69:46 to finish second behind Greta Waitz. This would stand as the UK record until 1991 when Liz McColgan ran 69:15.

Gillian Omar recalls the Tooby twins running at local athletics events, and when she saw her congratulating her son after the race, she instantly recognised her from those times.

Phillip Tanswell remembered being part of the victorious Hereford Couriers team in the Golden Valley half marathon in the early 80's and them having the award presented to them by the Tooby twins.

Huw Shakeshaft agreed that Susan had barely changed from when they used to go to athletics meets together as youngsters. He is still in contact with the family and messaged Susan to congratulate her and Jake after his stunning victory.