Tag Archives: Mo Farah

My track career could be over, says Mo Farah

Four time Olympic champion, Mo Farah who was racing for the first time since June and was unexpectedly out-sprinted by little known Ellis Cross at the Vitality London 10km Race,  has admitted his elite track career could be over after he finished runner-up on Monday.

The 39-year-old, Britain’s most decorated track and field athlete, has not raced since suffering a fractured foot in June last year. He fell short of the 10,000m selection time for last year’s Tokyo Olympics at the British Championships.

Farah’s has his career put in shambles after the four-time Olympic champion was beaten in his first race of the year by an unknown club runner.

Ellis took the top honors in a time of 28:40 with Farah coming home in second place four seconds later.

“In terms of the track, that’s it, I think,” Farah said. “Your body has to be ready. You have to be in the right frame of mind and compete with the guys. I love the sport and what I do, I’ve had a long career. “The reality is that it has been so, so long. In my career, I’ve never been out that long before… Today was tough and Ellis did well to beat me,” Said Sir, Farah.

Farah who has repeatedly said that he would like to represent his country one last time before retirement, and this summer presents three opportunities in the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and European Championships.

After this performance, there will be huge doubts over whether he is even capable of achieving the qualifying standard for any of those events.

“The World Championships are not on my radar at the minute… Because I’ve been there and done it, unless I can compete with the guys and be competitive, you’ve got to be honest and make that decision,” Farah concluded.

Mo Farah joins Radcliffe, Cram and Pavey as guests at NRS South

Distance legend is special guest at Farnborough International on May 7-8 as he adds to a list that includes Paula Radcliffe, Steve Cram and Jo Pavey.

With two months to go until the National Running Show South the organisers have revealed the latest speaker in the line-up – Sir Mo Farah.

The British endurance runner will be joining famous faces from the world of running including Paula Radcliffe, Steve Cram, Shakira Akabusi, Jenni Falconer, Jo Pavey and Danny Bent on May 7-8 at Farnborough International.

Farah is one of the most decorated athletes in track and field history and won eight world championship medals between 2011-2017 and four Olympic gold medals in the 5000m and 10,000m at London 2012 and Rio 2016. His 10 global championship gold medals (four Olympic and six world titles) make him one of the most successful athletes in history.

Nathalie Davies from The Running Show said: “We are delighted that Sir Mo will be joining the incredible speaker line-up and can’t wait to showcase some of the biggest talents in the running world at our event. “The National Running Show South will give runners of all abilities unprecedented access to industry experts, top brand exhibitors and a range of brilliant features.”

In addition to this speaker line-up, brands including adidas, Coros, Hoka One One, Mizuno, Pulseroll, iPRO, Forestry England, Ordnance Survey and Runderwear have also announced that they will be present at the show.

Tickets are available at www.nationalrunningshow.com and the event takes place over two days at Farnborough International and will have two stages, a packed schedule of speakers, a Strength Training Zone, an All-Terrain Running Track, Gait Analysis Zone, Trail Running Zone, a Pilates Zone and much more.

Source: athleticsweekly.com

Mo Farah’s racing comeback

Distance running legend returns to the roads of London and Manchester in May but what else does the summer of 2022 hold in store?

After signing up to race the Vitality London 10,000 on the roads of the British capital on May 2, Mo Farah has now announced he will be running the Great Manchester Run on May 22.

Despite turning 39 years old today (March 23) and enduring an injury-hit summer in 2021 which saw him fail to make the British Olympic team for Tokyo, there are signs he could be entering a surprisingly busy racing period.

After his disappointing season last year he talked about having one last hurrah – a big farewell race somewhere to mark the end of a career that has brought him, among other things, 10 global track titles. But there is now speculation he could be involved in this summer’s major championships on the track. Who knows, a return to the London Marathon in October could even be on the cards too.

Firstly, let’s stick to what we know. As Farah is racing 10km on the roads of London on May 2 and Manchester on May 22, this means we can pretty much rule him out of racing in the Müller Birmingham Diamond League on May 21.

Farah does not seem afraid of putting his reputation on the line either, incidentally, as the Great Manchester Run is also set to feature Stewart McSweyn, the Australian who holds the Oceania record for 1500m, mile and 3000m in addition to having clocked 27:23.80 for 10,000m on the track.

In addition, Andy Butchart is set to race and has been in good shape recently after having run 27:36.77 for 10,000m in California this month to break Ian Stewart’s 45-year-old Scottish record.

So if Farah’s road races in May go well, what are his options? Surprisingly he has never won a Commonwealth title and with the event on home soil in Birmingham it must be tempting.

The consensus is that he would struggle on the track against the likes of Joshua Cheptegei and Selemon Barega in the World Championships in Oregon in July. But Christian Malcolm, the head coach of the British team, has suggested it is “50/50”.

Speaking as last weekend’s World Indoor Championships in Belgrade drew to a close, Malcolm said: “Sir Mo is working hard and training. We will see how he goes in the summer. But he’s at that age now where you have to take it week-by-week, month-by-month, see where you are at in training.”

On the chances of him competing in Oregon, Malcolm added: “It’s possible. We don’t know at the moment. It’s 50-50 if I am being honest with you. Hopefully we will know a little bit more over the next six weeks.

“Does he still have a talent? Yes, he does. So let’s see if his body can handle it. Like I said, over the next six weeks Mo will know a little bit more about where he is at.”

As for the Great Manchester Run, Farah last took part in the event in 2018 when he outkicked Moses Kipsiro to clock 28:27.

Farah said: “I’m pleased to say the injury problems I had last year are now behind me, training has been going well and I am happy with the shape I am showing.

“Any time I race in the UK it is exciting for me because I love running in front of my home fans and I want to give my best for them.  I had an amazing reception in Manchester when I won the event in 2018 so I’m looking forward to racing on the streets of the city again later this year.”

It will be fascinating to see if Farah’s form during May is close to his best or whether there is little improvement on last year when he struggled at the British 10,000m Championships in Birmingham to clock 27:50.64 before barely improving three weeks later to run 27:47.04 in an invitation 10,000m at the Olympic trials in Manchester.

How will he fare, too, if he comes up against the rising force of Marc Scott, who beat Farah in Birmingham last year despite not being 100% fit himself and has since won the Great North Run, clocked 12:57.08 for 5000m indoors and on Saturday won bronze in the 3000m at the World Indoor Championships?

Source: athleticsweekly.com

Mo Farah to return to action at London 10k

Four-time Olympic champion, Mo Farah will make his return to competition at the Vitality London 10,000 in May.

The 38-year-old, Britain’s most decorated track and field athlete, has not raced since suffering a fractured foot in June last year. He fell short of the 10,000m selection time for last year’s Tokyo Olympics at the British Championships.

Farah, the 5,000m and 10,000m champion at both the London and Rio Games, is a seven-time winner of the London 10,000. The race, won by Farah in five consecutive years between 2009 and 2013, and again in 2018 and its most recent edition in 2019, will take place on Monday 2 May.

“I’ve been working hard to get back into shape following my injury last summer and I’ve got a few more months of hard training ahead of me,” said Farah. ”

I have great memories of the event. I have won it seven times and racing in central London is something you can never get bored of. The atmosphere among the thousands of participants is always fantastic and I can’t wait to be part of it again.”

Farah said he would consider his future after failing to qualify for Tokyo, saying: “If I can’t compete with the best why bother?”

He later told the BBC he had “been struggling for quite a while” but added he was determined to recover from the injury and finish his career on his own terms.

March Scott breaks European indoor 5000m record

Britain’s Marc Scott became the first European to break the 13 minute-barrier for the 5000m indoors at the Boston University David Hemery Valentine International that was held on Saturday (12) in Boston, USA.

Scott already held the European indoor record with 13:08.87 but he pulverized his two-year-old mark, becoming just the second British after Mo Farah to break the 13 minute-barrier with a 12:57.03 clocking.

The 28 year-old was still beaten by his training partners Grant Fisher and Mo Ahmed who set American and Canadian indoor records of 12:53.73 and 12:56.87 respectively.

The top three athletes move to fifth, seventh and eighth respectively on the world indoor all-time list which is still headed by Kenenisa Bekele’s world indoor 5000m record of 12:49.60 which has stood since 2004.

After the race, Scott confirmed he is targeting the 3000m at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia from 18-20 March.

Sir Mo Farah: ‘I would have loved to play for Arsenal’

The athlete, 38, talks about winning the Olympics in London, jogging down the Thames, his strict training regime and how often he shaves his head.

I don’t have many memories of growing up in Somalia – I was so young. I remember coming to the UK, age eight, going to school – even though I couldn’t speak any English – and suddenly having all these friends to play with.

I owe a lot to my PE teacher, Mr Watkinson. He saw me running around the playground, he watched me run in a figure of eight around the gym. Then he thought: “That kid is good at running.” He encouraged me to join a local running club. We’re still in touch.

I lived with some Kenyan runners in the early 2000s. They didn’t have a social life. All they did was eat, train, sleep. I realised then that I needed to eat, train and sleep like them if I wanted to be the best.

Winning the Olympics in front of my home crowd in London was incredible. Everything that led to it – my training, my mindset – it all made sense. People who saw it on telly probably didn’t think about how long it took to get there. What I achieved didn’t happen overnight. It took years.

I’m very disorganised at day-to-day things, but I’m getting better. It’s easy as an athlete to train and not worry about anything else. But I’m working hard to become a bit more involved with my kids. I think I can still beat them in a race, but it depends what distance. My son is pretty quick.

I’m getting back into running after my injury [Farah suffered a stress fractured ankle in the summer of 2020]. When I get fitter and stronger, I can see how much I can do. I hope to make the marathon. You’ve got to enjoy the moment and enjoy what you do. So I hope to keep competing and keep smiling.

Lockdown was tough for all of us, but it made everyone realise what’s important in life – and that’s family.

I would have loved to play for Arsenal, but I was never good enough. I played at school and for the local club until I was 14, but I was only good because I could cross the ball and run forward and run back. I didn’t have any other skills. I joined a running club instead.

It is nice to see so many people getting out of the house, going for a run, for walks, out on bikes. Running clears the mind. It’s easy to sit at home and feel sorry for yourself. It’s like when you’re driving and feel tired, the best thing to do is open the window and get some fresh air. When you’ve been indoors too long, some fresh air relaxes you.

If I run along the Thames or around Richmond Park, usually someone will go “That’s Mo!” and come and race alongside me for 20 or 30 seconds. My wife often says she needs to go for a little jog – and she jogs a little. You’ve got to just keep going at your own pace.

How often do I shave my head? Every three days.

Alberto Salazar got a £125,000 bonus after sacking

Mo Farah’s disgraced former coach was paid a six-figure bonus partly out of National Lottery funding even though UK Athletics had dropped him as a consultant, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Alberto Salazar received £125,000 for his role between 2012 and 2016 as a bonus for helping Farah to win Olympic gold, an email obtained via a Freedom of Information request has shown. A part of that sum was public money in the form of National Lottery funding.

Salazar was paid the medal bonus even though UKA dropped a consultancy arrangement with the American coach following a BBC Panorama investigation into his methods in 2015.

The email obtained by this newspaper reveals that, in March 2017, an employee of UK Sport wrote: ‘Alberto Salazar received 125K medal bonus from UKA following [redacted] medal winning performances. Salazar’s [sic] was not contracted or employed by the sport.

[Redacted] confirmed that the funding to pay Salazar’s bonus … in the Rio cycle was from WCP [World Class Performance] pot and not UK Athletics own money.’

It can be assumed the bonuses were due to Farah’s medal-winning performances. A later email from UK Athletics states: ‘2013-2017 Olympic Coach bonus policy … Alberto Salazar (Mo Farah — men’s 5000m/10,000m)’.

Farah won double gold medals at 5,000m and 10,000m at the World Championships in 2013 and 2015 and at the Rio Olympics in 2016. He also won double gold at the 2012 London Olympics when coached by Salazar, though it appears these payments do not relate to that period.

UK Athletics, who initially hired Salazar in 2013, wanted Farah to cut ties with the coach following the BBC investigation. UKA coaches, the late Neil Black and Barry Fudge, however, strongly resisted.

Farah therefore was still using Salazar until 2017, meaning the coach still qualified for the performance bonuses. Salazar’s consultancy was role was always informal, was not contractual and he was not paid for it by UKA. As it transpired, only Farah among UK athletes made use of his coaching methods.

World Class Performance refers to UK Sport’s National Lottery funding of leading Olympians, although as is made clear, the rules changed after 2016 so that Lottery money was not used to pay coach bonuses.

A later email from UKA states that what they describe as the World Class Performance ‘pot’ to pay Salazar’s bonuses came from UK Sport money and ‘co funding from the main sponsor at the time’. The Rio cycle refer to the years running up to the 2016 Rio Olympics, 2013-2016.

However, UK Sport sent a number of emails in 2017 quizzing UKA about the arrangements. An employee at UK Sport also emphasised in the March 2017 email that the new funding agreement ‘also highlights an expectation that if a WCP [funded athlete] were entering into an unusual, novel or potentially contentious arrangement that they would they would discuss with UKS [UK Sport] prior to doing this.’

Source: dailymail.co.uk

‘I was just so happy to survive’ – Sifan Hassan reflects on epic Olympic treble bid

As Sifan Hassan flopped to the Tokyo track, it was difficult to guess her emotions. Joy at becoming only the second woman to complete an Olympic distance double?

Regret that the 1500m title that would have made it an unprecedented treble had slipped away the previous evening?

Relief that a campaign that covered more than 15 miles in eight days was finally over?

A mix of all three?

In fact it was none of them but rather something more primal.

“Honestly, at that moment, I was just so happy to survive,” she tells Sport Today on BBC World Service.

“I was really in pain, I was suffering so much, I was sweating very, very, very hard, all my face was burning, my hand was burning, all my body was burning. I felt I had no water inside me.

“I thought I was going to pass out. In that moment I didn’t mind about gold, I just wanted to be alive and healthy.”

The Dutchwoman’s Olympic ambitions had taken her to the very edge of her endurance.

Not since the days of sepia news reels had an athlete taken on such a monster schedule, competing in the 1500m, 5,000m and 10,000m, with the longest distance coming last on a suffocatingly humid night in the Japanese capital.

Hassan flat out, framed by worried medical staff, clutching ice to her grimacing face was the final scene.

But the 29-year-old’s epic assault on the Olympics had already featured the see-sawing emotional swings of a summer blockbuster.

On the morning of 2 August, she tripped at the start of the final lap of her 1500m heat. Her rivals cantered on as she scrabbled on the floor. For an instant it seemed her bid for three golds was over before it had really begun.

Hassan sprung to her feet, hared after the pack, made up 25 metres on them, and came through to win.

That evening, she returned to the Olympic Stadium and motored away from world champion Hellen Obiri to clinch 5,000m gold.

Despair to delight. But her second and final gold, that draining 10,000m triumph, was fuelled by anger.

Hassan had been unable to stick with the pace in the previous night’s 1500m final. Britain’s Laura Muir and Kenyan winner Faith Kipyegon turned up the heat to leave Hassan third.

On the bottom step of the podium, she stewed.

“When I lost, at the time, I was so mad,” she says.

“At the medal ceremony, when I went back to my room I knew there was something inside me.

“That was when I decided: I will die tomorrow, I will go to the end.”

Hassan’s third-place finish in the 1500m final behind Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon (centre) and Great Britain’s
Laura Muir (left) fueled her win in the next day’s 10,000m final

The frustration and disappointment came out with everything else as she emptied the tanks in her final Tokyo race.

While Hassan’s rivals picked and chose their events, zeroing in to maximise their chances of gold, she says curiosity was behind her decision to go for a full house of distance events.

Was it possible, she asked herself? Logistically, athletically, mentally, could she contend across three events at the highest level in a painfully short span of time?

She could. And now she, and others, might do it again.

“God willing,” she says, when asked about the prospect of fighting on three fronts at another major championship.

“But I don’t think it will be as hard as in Tokyo, because I have done it.

“Even if another athlete had done it, it is going to be much easier because we know it is possible.

“Something is always more difficult when we don’t know before.”

Her curiosity has been piqued by something else, though.

Hassan has plans to combine road and track, banking that her extraordinary talent can bridge the divide between the two.

She hopes to step up to marathons, while still taking on the best in stadiums. It’s another huge challenge.

Britain’s Mo Farah, himself an Olympic double distance champion, can attest to how confidence forged on the track can crumble on the tarmac, even when focusing solely on the marathon.

Hassan, though, has already shown in Tokyo that she’ll go to the brink to chase history and pursue greatness.

Alberto Salazar’s lifetime ban upheld

Former American track coach Alberto Salazar’s lifetime ban appeal for sexual misconduct has been rejected by the US Center for SafeSport.

The 63-year-old was handed the lifetime ban following allegations he had emotionally and physically abused a number of athletes during his time as part of the Nike Oregon Project.

In January 2020, SafeSport temporarily banned Salazar with the decision subsequently made permanent in July 2021.

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.

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