Tag Archives: Mo Farah

Abdi Nageeye: Victory at the New York City Marathon Would Inspire Somalis and Refugees

Abdi Nageeye captured hearts worldwide with his Olympic marathon silver at the Tokyo 2020 which also resonated with refugee communities.

The celebrations spread across the Netherlands, his adopted home after escaping war in Somalia, and in Kenya, the long-distance powerhouse where he honed his running career.

The Tokyo silver was the Netherlands’ second-ever medal in the Olympic marathon event and another example for Kenya’s High-Altitude Training Camp to boast about.

My target is to win. I really believe now that I can – Abdi Nageeye ahead of the 2021 New York City Marathon

On November 7, the Dutch runner will pound the streets of the New York City Marathon for the first time seeking to end his season with a victory to add to his cherished Olympic medal, after proving that he can run with ‘the best in the world’.

“My target is to win. I really believe now that I’m good in the race where you have a championship field, where you aim for the podium. I have good sprints and confidence,” he told Olympics.com from his home in Eldoret, Kenya.

But, even more important for Nageeye, is cementing his role as a huge inspiration for the younger generations in Somalia.

Olympic silver medalist Abdi Nageeye celebrates crossing the finish line at Tokyo 2020. Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Abdi Nageeye: From Somalia to the Netherlands

Aged six, Abdi Nageeye left Somalia with his brother for the Netherlands. After a four-year stint in Europe, the siblings left for Syria and returned home to Somalia. It wasn’t long before the teenager resettled back in the Netherlands with his adopted family via Ethiopia.

Like most boys, the young teen enjoyed playing football. One day, he laced up his running shoes for a 5km run, which he completed in a relatively fast 17 minutes.

That was in 2006. He turned out to be a good runner and was encouraged to exploit his new interest. A year later he debuted for the Netherlands, in a junior race, at the European Cross-Country Championships.

That marked the start of an athletics career that has seen Nageeye compete at European and World Championships, two Olympic Games and run marathons in major cities.

His national record and personal best of 2:06.17 at the 2019 Amsterdam Marathon remains ‘one of the best days’ of his life.

“That race gave me a lot of confidence. I ran that race with an injury from 33km, a lot of cramping on my hamstring. And it’s that confidence that I had until the Olympics,” he recalled of the race where he placed fourth.

Abdi Nageeye: The Olympic lesson in Rio and the medal in Tokyo

The run in Amsterdam fanned his ambition of making the podium at a major championship.

“I knew I was able to do something. I never showed it at the [2018] European Championships, I didn’t prepare smart enough, but I knew I was able to run well and to win major marathons. But people want to receive the result at the finish line, and I was not able to do it.”

His Rio 2016 experience, where he finished 11th, counted for something when he lined up for the Olympic marathon in Sapporo.

When Eliud Kipchoge confirmed his greatness by clinching his second consecutive Olympic gold,only Nageeye came close.

Gold medalist Eliud Kipchoge of Team Kenya (L) hugs silver medalist Abdi Nageeye of Team Netherlands (R) after completing the men’s Olympic marathon in Japan. Picture by 2021 Getty Images

As they had done many times in training in Kaptagat, when he trained with Kipchoge, and his renowned coach Patrick Sang, the Dutch runner followed his lead when he broke away from the pack around the 30km mark.

“I knew I had this big chance with the whole world watching and I said I will show them what I can do.”- Abdi Nageeye on the silver at Tokyo 2020.

He created a near-perfect race, though it was a long and hard chase behind Kipchoge, his efforts were rewarded. Abdi took an Olympic silver medal with a season’s best time of 2:09:58.

“It was a long journey, the preparations… there were three Kenyans and three Ethiopians who are normally very strong…Then, there I was at the finish line, number two. It was a good feeling!”

The 32-year-old was cheered to the line in Sapporo by Kipchoge.

“When I was crossing the finish line, I was like, ‘We did it!’”

Abdi Nageeye: Inspirational legacy from Eliud Kipchoge

Nageeye may have shifted his training base to Iten, considered the cradle of Kenyan long-distance training, but the values he picked up from Eliud Kipchoge remain.

“He’s the greatest! Nobody can argue with that, he’s the greatest! From Eliud, I learned to take my time and focus on the progress. I learned the importance of discipline.”

Nageeye now trains remotely with Gary Lough, the coach of four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah.

The British coach also coaches Somali-born Belgian Bashir Abdi who edged past Kenyan Lawrence Cherono in the home stretch for bronze at the Olympics.

“The whole of Somalia was watching us at that moment, and they were talking about us. Most of them started running because of Mo Farah and many will start now because of me and Bashir.”

It has been 13 weeks since the epic Olympic race and Nageeye is on the entry list for the New York City Marathon, looking to capitalise on his newfound fame and form.

“I think I will be in good shape as it is more of a championship race, if I was trying to run 2:04 [below the course record], it would not be possible. I’ll be ready.”

The Dutch half-marathon record holder who lives in the running town of Eldoret is giving himself every shot.

“I’m good in the race where you have this championship field, where you are just aiming for the podium. I have good sprints, confidence, I’m training well until now, so my goal really is to win this race.”

Abdi Nageeye: Motivation to be the best

The second-fastest man over the marathon Kenenisa Bekele leads the men’s field in the 2021 New York City Marathon that includes a handful of previous podium finishers.

Ethiopia’s Girma Bekele Gebre, third in 2019, and the 2016 New York champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie of Eritrea are both considered top-three contenders.

“I am just hearing one or two names but I’m not focusing on that. I’m focusing on training and to be as fit as possible at the start line. It’s only when I get to the athletes’ hotel [in New York], and I see the faces and say ‘OK, you are there, and you too,’ and then I will make my plan,” said the marathoner who ran the Boston Marathon twice finishing 7th in 2018.

Just like at the Olympics, his motivation to win his debut New York Marathon runs deep.

“In Somalia, our last world champion was in 1987, that’s Abdi Bile and they just know him. That’s it. They even named a popular Toyota pick up after him, the Abdi Bile car,” he explained.

Bile, the 1996 Olympian, is Somalia’s most decorated athlete in history and still holds several national records.

“In Somalia, they don’t know much about running… The civil war put a pause on everything. So, it’s up to us to educate them, help them to understand and practice sport. Not only those in Somalia but the Somali community around the world.”

Getty Images

Source: olympics.com

Mo Farah: I might be a coach at the Paris 2024

Four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah hinted he may have already run his last Olympic Games, admitting the France 2024 games may be “too far of a stretch”.

The iconic British long-distance runner was not able to defend the 10,000m crown he won in the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, having missed the 10,000m selection time by 19 seconds. It was the first time since 2004 he did not make the Team GB athletics team, which failed to win a gold medal for the first time in 25 years in Tokyo.

In 2016, Farah became the first athlete since Lasse Viren to win both 5000m and 10,000m in successive games. However, after just falling short in the Tokyo games, Farah believes his presence at the Paris games in 2024 are more likely to be in a coaching capacity than competitor.

The four-time Olympic champion is an ambassador for the new HUAWEI Watch GT 3 fitness ( Image: HUAWEI)

“You might see me as a coach going ‘Go on guys!’, Farah, who was promoting Huawei’s latest fitness smart watch, told Mirror Sport. “But I think I’ll be long gone by then (Paris 2024).

“It’s too far of a stretch I think.” At 38-years-old, Farah’s stellar career and achievements have made him one of the most iconic British Olympians of all time.

As well as his four gold medals, Farah also became the second person after Kenenisa Bekele to win long-distance doubles at successive Olympics and World Championships. With ten global title wins, he is the most decorated athlete in British athletics history, and his achievements were soon recognized by royalty when he was awarded a knighthood by her majesty the Queen for services to athletics.

However, while he feels the final curtain on his Olympics journey may have come to an end, he is back training again amid a possible return in the upcoming events. “I am getting back into it slowly, and working hard to get in that work place,” said Farah. “It was hard {missing out on the Olympics} I’m not going to lie, it was hard, it was tough. “The most important thing for me is to get myself right, get myself in good shape.

“Who knows, we have got the Commonwealth games, the European championships, there is lots coming up.” A packed schedule of athletics awaits next summer with the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the 2022 Athletics World Championships in Oregon USA next July, as well as the European Athletics Championships in August. However, having just recovered from a stress fracture in his left foot, Farah is focusing on regaining his fitness and routine, before targeting any new medals.

“I had a stress fracture in my foot, not going to lie, it was hard,” he added. “It took me three months to get out of it, but now I am injury free, and will hopefully be ready to start.”

Marius Kipserem targets a hat-trick at the Rotterdam Marathon

Kenya’s Marius Kipserem will be going for a hat-trick at the 40th edition of the Rotterdam Marathon that will be held on Sunday (24) in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Kipserem comes to this race as the fastest runner and the race course record holder of 2:04.11 that he set at the 2019 edition.

The 33 year-old will battle for the top honors with the Tokyo marathon bronze medallist Bashir Abdi the somali born now trading for Belgium.

Abdi comes to this race with a personal best of 2:04.49 that he got at the 2020 Tokyo Marathon. The 2018 European silver medallist Champion in 10,000m will be targeting to lower the European marathon record of 2.04.16 that is held by Kaan Kigen Ozbilen from Turkey who had smashed Mo Farah’s previous record of 2:05.11.

Another title contender is Ethiopians Solomon Deksisa who has the second fastest time on paper of 2:04.40 that he got at the 2018 Amsterdam Marathon where he finished in third place.

Kenya will also be represented by Emmanuel Saina who holds a personal best of 2:05.02 that he got at the 2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon and Gideon Kipketer who carries on his shoulder a personal best of 2:05.51 that he got at the 2017 Tokyo Marathon. Ethiopia has three more title contenders that include Dawit Wolde of 2:06.18, Kebede Tulu of 2:06.32 and Limenih Yizengaw of 2:06.47.

This top 8 elite athletes will be joined in the first group by John Langat of 2:07.11, Asefa Tefera Mengisa of 2:07.47, Cyrus Mutai of 2:10.28 and Titus Kipruto of 2:12.43.

The race organisers have put together this top elite athletes to chase and lower the race course record with a good margin.

Mo Farah dropped from funding by UK Athletics

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah has been left off funding by the British Athletics Olympic Programme.

Farah was included on the Olympic World Class Programme funding in 2020, which British Athletics rolled over after the Tokyo Olympics was postponed for a year by the pandemic.

But he failed to reach the Games in Japan after missing the 10,000m qualifying time in the summer.

Farah is yet to announce whether he will return or retire but, with the World and European Championships next year,

British Athletics head coach Christian Malcolm has also refused to close the door on Sir Mo Farah’s career.

He said: “I will welcome any athlete who is out there performing well. Because people have been moved off the world class performance plan doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t want them to be part of the team.

“You want that competition, appetite to be back in the team and performing for their country.

“I haven’t spoken to him; we spoke on WhatsApp a couple of months ago. I’m giving him a bit of space and time but I will be in contact with him just to find out what he wants to do.

“Mo Farah is a legend of our sport and deserves to make his decision in his own time.”

Malcolm and British Athletics performance director Sara Symington have come under fire recently.

Disillusioned athletes reportedly asked Lord Seb Coe president of World Athletics to intervene last month such was their lack of confidence in the UKA performance team, but Malcolm asked for time.

He said: “I think its actions. They were good, productive conversations but it’s how we go forward and these things aren’t going to change overnight. There has to be an element of patience.

“Some of the things were warranted, they are understandable, it’s been a challenging year, but some of the other things they didn’t really know the answers to.

“We had good conversations and we intend on doing things a lot better. I just think we have come in and there have been a lot of moving parts within the organisation and, with anything, nobody really likes change do they?”

Alberto Salazar four years doping ban upheld

Former American track coach Alberto Salazar’s four-year suspension has been upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The 63-year-old was banned two years ago for a series of doping violations by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) but appealed against the decision.

Salazar ran the Nike Oregon Project , based in Beaverton, Oregon.

It was established in 2001 and was the home of British four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah.

Farah has not been accused of doping, and left the Oregon Project in 2017.

A BBC Panorama film revealed last year that Farah was questioned about his relationship with Salazar by US investigators in 2015, but he has never failed a doping test, nor been accused of doping. Salazar also coached Dutch runner Sifan Hassan, who took triple medals at the just concluded Tokyo 2020 in the 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m. It eventually resulted in bans for both Salazar and Nike endocrinologist Dr Geoffrey Brown, announced in October 2019.

Before he became a coach, Salazar was one of the most talented distance runners of his generation, winning the New York City marathon in 1980, 1981 and 1982. He is also famous for the ‘Duel in the Sun’ at the Boston Marathon in 1982.

Sir Mo Farah out of Great North Run

Sir Mo Farah will not defend his Great North Run title this weekend but WILL return to competition next year.

The London 2012 Olympic Hero is the modern-day king of the Great North Run, having dominated the half marathon since 2014.

Britain’s most decorated athlete, who has won the last six GNRs, took part in Soccer Aid last weekend despite a stress fracture in his foot.

He appeared briefly as a substitute at the Etihad before limping off and it has been confirmed he has no plans to race in the foreseeable future.

Farah, 38, failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in June and his reaction sparked speculation he was about to retire.

“I’ve always said if I can’t compete with the best I won’t just go to be in a final,” he said that evening. “Tonight showed it’s not good enough.”

However, Great North Run founder Sir Brendan Foster revealed: “I can assure you Mo isn’t going to finish and I can assure you he’ll compete in the Great North Run again.

A spokesperson for Farah confirmed he has “no race plans in the pipeline” but that he will keep running, with a decision still to be made on whether he focuses on track or road races.

Jemal Yimer wins Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer is the new winner of the Antrim Coast Half Marathon that was held on Sunday (29) in Antrim, Northern Ireland.

The 2018 African 10000 Athletics Champion won the race 60:29 as he edged out Tesfahun Akalnew also from Ethiopia who crossed the line in second place a second later.

Kenya’s Shadrack Kimining closed the first podium three finishes in 60:31.

Marck Scott from Northern Ireland and Nigel Martin from England took the fourth and fifth place in 1:00.34 and 1:03.21 respectively

The race course record of 60:21 that was set by Mo Farah remained intact.

 

Jemal Yimer to headline the Antrim Coast Half Marathon

The 2018 African 10000 Athletics Champion, Jemal Yimer will be the star to watch at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon that will be held on Sunday (29) in Antrim, Northern Ireland.

The 24 year-old, won his last half marathon outing at the Houston half marathon in 2020 and has also achieved the fastest ever debut half marathon in 59:00 that he got in 2019 at Ras al Khaimah half marathon in United Arab Emirates

Yimer will be joined by his fellow country-mate Tesfahun Akalnew, who carries on his shoulders a personal best of 59:22 that he got at the 2020 New Delhi Half Marathon.

The UK and Ireland will be led by Tokyo Olympians Marc Scott, Stephen Scullion and Paul Pollock. Scott is the two times European record holder and second fastest all-time Briton behind Sir Mo Farah over 10,000m and is looking to go one better this year, and become only the second Briton to break the 60 -minute barrier.

Stephen finished fourth in last year’s race and went on to break the Northern Ireland record.

Paul, fresh from his second Olympics will make his debut on the fast scenic course and will also threaten the top positions. Barcelona Olympian and multiple world record holder Tommy Hughes will be also sure to have huge crowd support again this year as he once again makes his latest bid on the vet’s +60 world record, which he smashed at last year’s race.

The defending champion, Farah is unable to race this year due to injury but has pledged his support for the event by being the race ambassador.

Ankle injury rules out Geoffrey Kamworor

Three times world Half Marathon champion, Geoffrey Kamworor has pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics due to an ankle injury.

The 28-year-old is also the 2017 New York marathon, and previous world record holder had hopes of a medal in the 10,000m after winning the national trials.

Kamworor made the announcement through his Facebook account when he said, ” This week I had to make the tough decision to skip the Olympics. I’m feeling very fit and in great shape, but unfortunately a painful spot in my foot is preventing me from running 25 laps on spikes by next week.

Geoffrey Kamworor poses for a photo at the Global Communication Camp. Photo: Geoffrey Kamworor
I will build on the fitness I currently have and looking ahead towards great goals in the marathon in near future, see you soon.”

He won silver at the 2015 world championships in Beijing, behind Britain’s Mo Farah.

The injury comes after he was hit by a motorcycle while training near his home in June last year, suffering a fractured tibia.

Mo Farah’s coach hints at track return

Sir Mo Farah’s coach has hinted the 35-year-old could be tempted by a return to the track at next year’s World Championships.

The four-time Olympic champion won his first major marathon title in Chicago on Sunday, setting a new European record of two hours five minutes and 11 seconds. He has turned his attention to road racing after calling time on his track career last year.

But his coach Gary Lough was quoted as saying by several national newspapers: “I think he will sit down with a few of us and look at his general plan for next year. “He really wants to run the World Championships, but what he runs at the World Championships hasn’t been decided.”

Next year’s Worlds take place in Doha in the autumn and the marathon would be the only road race available there to Farah, who in the build-up to the race in Chicago declared his intention to compete in the marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Lough added: “He might change things up a bit next year and surprise a few people, so we will see.”