“We’ll never have a year like this in our sport ever again”.

Geoff Wightman is talking about the recently concluded track and field season and his statement is true in so many ways.

That three major championships fell in the space of only five weeks is, clearly, exceptional but perhaps even more unique is the success garnered by Scottish athletes which saw multiple major championship medals head home to these shores.

The bulk of this silverware was won by a trio of athletes who have ensured Scotland is now well and truly seen as a significant player in global athletics.

The triumvirate of Laura Muir, Eilish McColgan and Geoff’s son, Jake, between them won ten medals, including two Commonwealth titles, two European titles and a world title.

Such a sparkling roll of honour is why it is impossible to predict who will be crowned Athlete of the Year this evening at Scottishathletics’ annual awards dinner, which Wightman will host alongside former English internationalist, Katharine Merry.

Each of the three of Muir, McColgan and Jake Wightman has a particularly strong case for the award and should Jake win, it will be the second time in just a few months Geoff will be on the microphone as his son triumphs.

At the start of 2022, Wightman was little-known outwith athletics circles but as a former athlete himself, a former chief executive of Scottishathletics and now a stadium announcer at some of the world’s biggest athletics meets, he was a familiar face, and voice, within the sport.

But this summer, when he called the race in Eugene where Jake became world 1500m champion and with the accompanying video of his commentary of the final go viral, he has become something of a household name.

Wightman also coaches his son and so has more of a vested interest in his performance than most parents and he admits that, having had time to reflect on the incredible few months for Jake that saw him win world gold, Commonwealth bronze and European silver, as well as setting Scottish records at both 800m and the mile, there is a huge sense of satisfaction about everything coming together in a season that was so jam-packed with major championships it will never be replicated.

“To arrive at the start of this season healthy and in the sort of fitness and confidence to end up with a set of three medals was pretty pleasing, you couldn’t ask for much more,” he says of Jake’s haul.

“I was giving Jake a hard time when he was doing his mixed zone interviews at the Worlds because the Commonwealths were only a few days away and that was always the challenge. When you have a high like that, it goes out of your control because you’re so in demand.

“So there was a bit of a reaction to that at the Commonwealths but then another 10 days later was the Europeans. The decision to do the 800m there was taken early and it was the right one, but it was a near miss for gold.”

The video of Wightman calling the 1500m final in Eugene, where Jake held off the Norwegian superstar, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, for gold, has been viewed online well over a million times, with almost everyone marvelling at quite how composed Wightman remained despite his son recording one of the greatest results in Scottish sporting history.

Practice is, says Wightman, who first commentated on his son’s races at school sports day, much of the reason he could stay level-headed but more than that, it is the fear of not doing his job properly that eliminated any hint of bias.

“I’ve been doing his races for a while, since school sports day so I am quite used to it,” he says.

“I remember one of Jake’s first major finals was the World Indoors in Birmingham in 2018 and I was asked by the producer if I was going to be able to be neutral for it and the implication was that if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t get the chance again.

“So as a result, if anything, I probably go too impassive now but I’m not just there for Jake on these big occasions – I’m there for the whole field and the entire crowd so if I mess it up, someone else will get given the 1500m in future and I don’t want that because I do like doing it.

“At the Worlds, there’s a video clip of my wife who couldn’t watch but I’ve had ten years to get used to it. My heart is probably racing a bit faster than usual and I’ve looked back at the clip of me announcing and I don’t know what on earth to do with my hands.

“But there’s nothing I’d do differently.”

Wightman will once again be in the thick of things when he announces Scottishathletics’ Athlete of the Year this evening but the fact Jake is far from a certain winner says much about the current strength of Scottish athletics and the year both Muir and McColgan have also had.

For Wightman, who was at the helm of Scottishathletics for six years until he departed in 2010, the tough decision as to who will win tonight’s flagship award indicates just how good a place the sport in this country is currently in, and it bodes well for the coming seasons.

“I really don’t know who’ll win tonight – I have no idea,” he says.

“It’s healthy how strong the sport is in Scotland now.

“When I was chief executive, we weren’t making any impact on a global level individually so to be at this point is incredible.

“With Laura and Eilish also doing what they did this year, it’s been exceptional. The thing is, when you see people get their second, third or fourth medal of the summer, you can start to treat it as routine but it’s really not, it’s incredibly hard.

“Jake’s been around a long time, as have Eilish and Laura, and they’ve all had their setbacks but with hindsight, you realise those setbacks have contributed to the successes, and it makes it all the sweeter too.”