Sir Mo Farah is in real danger of missing out on next month’s Tokyo Olympics after he FAILS to make qualifying time and finishes EIGHTH in the British 10,000m Championships
- Sir Mo Farah missed out on the chance to book his spot at the Tokyo Olympics
- The four-time Olympic champion finished eighth in 10,000m at British trials
- Farah now faces a race against the clock to get the Olympic qualifying time
- He finished behind Brit Marc Scott and 22 seconds outside Olympic standard
- The 38-year-old said it was the first time he had run on the track in two weeks
- Find out the latest Tokyo Olympic news including schedule, medal table and results right here.
On the grounds of the University of Birmingham, Sir Mo Farah learnt one hell of a lesson on Saturday night. It would seem that even sporting knights are not immune to iffy ankles and the perils of time.
The question is whether his heavy and surprising defeat at the British 10,000metre trials will kill off his chances of being at the Tokyo Olympics, or merely serve as an awkward bump in the pursuit of a fifth gold medal this summer. At present only an incurable optimist would side with the latter.
That is because the four-time Olympic gold medallist did not just miss the qualifying time of 27 minutes and 28 seconds; he was more than a straight of the track outside it at 27:50. He wasn’t even the first Brit home in a race that also served as a European Cup for the distance, with seven other men ahead, including Farah’s Team GB team-mate Marc Scott.
Sir Mo Farah could miss out on the Tokyo Olympics after he failed to make qualifying standard
The four-time Olympic champion now faces a race against the clock to get the qualifying time
It was Scott who earlier in the week had teased that Farah had lost his aura at the age of 38, and in real money the ageing champion has only a further three weeks to prove him wrong. If he doesn’t hit the mark by the close of play on June 27, he will not go to Japan, and with it, his remarkable career would have the most understated of conclusions. He is famous for his late kicks, but this is pushing it.
The challenge is compounded by an injury to his left ankle, which Farah revealed in the aftermath of his first defeat at the distance since 2011, a period that has seen his complete and utter domination of his sport. If that ‘niggle’ can be repaired, he will have a chance, but combined with his age and the fact this was his first 10,000m race since 2017, it feels like an awfully big ask. That is even before you consider the logistics of finding compliant races in the Covid era. He could appear at a meet in Leiden, Holland next weekend.
‘I am obviously disappointed with the result but it is what it is,’ Farah said. ‘Without making any excuses, the last 10 days haven’t been great since I came back from training (in Flagstaff, Arizona), but it was important I came out the at the trials and I show up the trials. It would have been a lot easier obviously not to show, but at the same time I did show and I dug in deep.
‘With 15 laps to go I was hurting hard. I just had to keep fighting, keep digging. I honestly thought with five laps to go I had the time.’
The 38-year-old finished in eighth place in the 10,000m, behind fellow Brit Marc Scott
On the injury, he added: ‘I’ve been carrying a niggle since I got back from training. It is frustrating because I have done a lot of good work in Flagstaff, training has gone well. If you had asked me two weeks ago it would have been a lot different. It is what it is, it is part of sport.
‘To be honest, this is the first bit I have done of track in the last two weeks. It is not ideal.
‘I am four-time Olympic champion but that doesn’t mean nothing. You’ve got to go out there each race and mix it with the best and give yourself a chance.’
Farah was never in this one. He went to the front halfway through the opening lap, with a dual mission to hit the qualification time and finish among the top two Brits. But from there it went wrong. He was passed by Scott on the home straight and clocked his worst time since 2014. Scott is safely booked for Japan; Farah is clinging on by a thread.
Farah wants to defend his 10,000m title at the Olympics but now could miss out altogether
Eilish McColgan won the British women’s 10k title and qualified for Tokyo with Jessica Judd.
Meanwhile, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce sent a booming warning from Jamaica to Dina Asher-Smith with an astonishing 100metres performance that lifted her to second in the all-time world rankings.
The Jamaican, a two-time Olympic gold medallist at the distance and the reigning world champion, clocked a remarkable 10.63sec at a low-key meet in Kingston.
Only the late American Florence Griffith-Joyner has ever run faster, with her contentious world record of 10.49sec standing since 1988 and considered untouchable.
Fraser-Pryce’s time will draw attention around the world ahead of the Olympics, not least from Asher-Smith, who beat her comfortably in Gateshead last month. Fraser-Pryce’s performance has invited whispers within the sport over whether spike technology is now having the same impact on sprints as seen in longer distances.
The Brit said it was the first ‘bit I’ve done on the track in two weeks’ and thought he had time