Athletics: Farah shrugs off Birmingham fall

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The Independent Online

Mo Farah is refusing to use a recent illness or spate of injuries as an excuse if he fails to perform well at today's world cross country championships here.

Farah has forgotten about the fall he had in his 3,000 metres heat at the European championships three weeks ago - a slip which ruined his hopes of winning the gold medal in Birmingham.

Last summer's European 5,000m silver medallist is adamant he is not being caused problems by the calf injury he picked up in the incident, or a bout of illness at the Norwich Union GB team's camp in Durban.

Farah, who surprisingly this winter decided to give priority to the world cross country championships, said: "These things happen - injuries and sickness are part and parcel of life - you just have to deal with it."

Many felt with the European indoor championships being on home soil he would concentrate on what would always be an easier challenge and opportunity of claiming a medal. But Farah, focused on the 12 kilometres race, said: "My calf's a lot better and I missed three days' training with a virus in Durban. I'm injury free, although both set me back in part. But everybody gets injured and you just have to bounce back. I'll be doing the best I can and I'm planning to enjoy the race."

Farah admitted he is prepared to put his reputation on the line and let people judge after the race whether he can compete with his dominant African rivals in the future.

The Somalian-born star admitted one of his targets will be finishing as the first European, which he feels will consolidate his runaway success at the area championships last December.

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