Andy Vernon in new dig at Mo Farah: Bitter British rival angry over World Championships squad omission

The pair have history

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The Independent Online

Andy Vernon accused Mo Farah of costing him a place in the British team at the World Championships moments after Farah received his gold medal for the 10,000metres.

Vernon felt his non-selection was because of a well-publicised fall-out with Britain’s leading distance runner, which, on the eve of the championships, British Athletics performance director Neil Black vehemently denied had played any part in selection.

But Vernon remains unconvinced and tweeted: “Well done on your medal @Mo_Farah. Great to hear you love to represent your country. Thank you for stopping me do the same. Good luck for the 5k.”

The pair have had a fractious relationship. When they last ran together in a 5,000m race in Lausanne, Vernon claimed Farah had told him to “fuck off” after he offered to make up with a handshake following the race, an act Vernon called “disgraceful”.

Their poor relationship dates back to a Twitter row earlier in the year in which Vernon criticised the lack of competition against Farah on UK soil, which led to Farah labelling his rival an “embarrassment”.

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Farah and Vernon stand side by side on the podium at the 2014 European Athletics Championships

 

The latest outburst added an unsavoury element to Farah picking up his gold medal, Britain’s first of the championships, from newly elected IAAF president Seb Coe.

Farah returns to the track on Wednesday for the heats of the 5,000m bidding for a third consecutive golden distance double at global level, which is fast becoming his trademark.

Asked to rate his chances, Farah said: “It’s doable. It’s important that I have three days to look after myself and try to recover. After the heats, I will see how I feel. I can’t do any sessions because the race will have taken a lot more out of me. Just a run, stretch, physio, make sure I am not getting any problems.”

Prior to the championships, the 10,000m looked perhaps the easier gold but, with 25 laps in his legs and having been pushed to 27-minute pace by his Kenyan rivals, that might prove to be otherwise.

Looking ahead to the shorter event, Farah added: “I don’t know what is possible. There are four Kenyan guys in the 5k. It could be a fast one. They will be thinking, ‘Mo will be tired from the 10’ or it could come down to the last six or seven laps, I honestly don’t know. I think this will be a little harder than at previous championships.”

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