Britain claim record haul but Farah concern grows

Fears of over-training as last year's golden boy falls out of the medals in the 3,000m final yesterday

The Atakoy Athletics Arena

A flying finish by the boys and girls in red, white and blue brought a record haul of nine medals for the British team by the end of the third and final day of the World Indoor Championships here in Istanbul. There were five in all yesterday, and a timely return to gold-standard form for our only reigning Olympic track and field champion, Christine Ohuruogu, albeit as the vital cog in an inspired women's 4 x 400m relay quartet.

Five months out from the London Olympics, second place behind the United States in the medal table was reason for quiet satisfaction in the head coach Charles van Commenee and his squad. For the London-raised runner who entered 2012 as the golden boy of British athletics, however, there was not even the consolation of a bronze lining, and grounds for some concern.

Last summer Mo Farah looked unbeatable – and, indeed, remained unbeaten in every race bar one, when the Ethiopian Ibrahim Jeilan caught him by surprise in the home straight in the 10,000m final at the outdoor World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. When it came to the crunch on the 15th and final lap of the 3,000m final yesterday, though, the shield of invincibility that had already taken a few piercings in this indoor season was gashed.

As Bernard Lagat of the United States sped to victory in 7min 41.44 sec, Farah was unable to respond. He did get baulked as he tried to get past the Kenyan duo, Augustine Choge and Edwin Soi, going into the final bend but by that stage Lagat was away. The Briton, who had too much in the tank for Lagat when he won his world 5,000m title in Daegu, was fourth in 7:41.79, 0.35sec short of the gold.

He did close to within 0.02sec of Choge, who finished second, and within 0.01sec of Soi, who snatched third – and, after exiting the arena in a speechless state of disappointment, he was briefly promoted to the bronze medal position. Soi was initially disqualified for obstructing Farah but was subsequently reinstated after the Kenyan team management lodged an appeal.

"I believe he was obstructed," Van Commenee said, "but you cannot protest against a protest." Not that it would have made much difference to Farah. "For a minute, I did think they'd awarded me the bronze," he said, after returning to track-side, "but I have to be disappointed no matter what, whether I finished third or fourth."

Farah opened his indoor season looking razor-sharp, outsprinting Choge over 1500m in Glasgow at the end of January. Since then, however, his edge has been blunted. A fourth-placed finish in the mile at the Boston Games could be explained by the mid-race tumble he took. But in the two-mile race at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham three weeks ago he looked heavy legged, having to dig deep to haul himself from fourth place at the bell to be second to Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, taking little consolation from breaking the British and European records.

Having finished second to Choge in his 3,000m heat here on Friday (but ahead of a far from flat-out Lagat), the world 5,000m champion has now lost four races in a row. "I've just got to learn from this," Farah said. "It just proves again that you can't take anything for granted. I need to keep working hard."

The fact that Farah was doing up to 130miles a week in training out in Kenya with the British endurance team at the start of the year, and with Alberto Salazar's training group in Albuquerque in recent weeks, could prompt some to suggest that he might be working a little too hard. Lagat runs only "between 60 and 75 miles a week" but he is a former 1500m runner who has pushed up to the domain of the 5,000m outdoors. Farah is a 5,000m cum 10,000m man.

Lagat, for one, still sees the 28-year-old Briton as "the man to beat" in London this summer. "Oh, absolutely," the 37-year-old American said. "He's going away from here not with anger but with a lot of hunger. He's got to be one of the toughest guys."

Team GB: honour roll

Gold Yamile Aldama (triple jump) Women's 4x400m relay (Shana Cox, Nicola Sanders, Christine Ohuruogu, Perri-Shakes Drayton)

Silver Jessica Ennis (pentathlon), Tiffany Porter (60m hurdles),Men's 4x400m relay (Conrad Williams, Nigel Levine, Michael Bingham, Richard Buck)

Bronze Dwain Chambers (60m), Shara Proctor (long jump), Holly Bleasdale (pole vault), Andrew Osagie (800m)

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?