London Marathon 2014: Mo Farah's confidence intact despite his collapse in New York
While winning might be his ambition come the weekend, attaining such a reality is infinitely tougher
Tuesday 08 April 2014
The British public have grown accustomed to seeing Mo Farah with his arms outstretched, a beaming grin on his face in celebration. New York was different.
Moments after what was his sole warm-up race for the London Marathon, the double Olympic and world champion was horizontal on the streets of The Big Apple after finishing second in the city's half-marathon before being taken away in a wheelchair.
At half the distance it left the question of how exactly Britain's most celebrated runner would fare over the 26.2 miles of the capital on Sunday but the Londoner, making his debut over the distance, believes there is no reason for him not to swap collapse for celebration.
"I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe I could win," he said. "I couldn't do that. Every race I want to go out and win. I wouldn't be here if I didn't think I could. My nature in everything I do is to try and win, be it computer games or anything else."
While winning might be the ambition come the weekend, attaining such a reality is infinitely tougher. The longest Farah, who is as low as 3-1 with some bookmakers, has ever run is 26 miles training in Kenya's Rift Valley, where he has spent the majority of his winter away from his family, but that was nowhere near the anticipated pace of Sunday.
As well as his own inexperience of road running, up against him are some of the finest distance runners of all time: the world record-holder Wilson Kipsang and Geoffrey Mutai, the man who beat Farah in New York. Plus there is the most illustrious of all pacemakers in Haile Gebrselassie, a nine-time marathon winner and two-time Olympic champion on track who has pledged to target a world-record tempo.
The sight of Farah being wheeled away barely a few weeks ago were worrying but the 31-year-old played down its significance, blaming it on an earlier fall in the race, which had left him chasing the likes of Mutai in the final stages.
"I was feeling it in the last four miles," he said. "I was seeing stars but I just wanted to finish the race. I was completely out of it afterwards. My coach, Alberto Salazar, has been there and done it and he just told me 'you're faking it, you're OK, get up'."
With four marathon wins to his name, Salazar is better versed than most in what it takes, and the pair are adamant there will not be a repeat in front of his home crowd.
"I'm glad it happened over there, to get it over with, done and come here," said Farah, who had previously collapsed after finishing runner-up at the 2009 European Cross Country Championships. "It was cold so it was maybe a bit of that and a bit from falling over. But it was nothing to be concerned about."
While Farah wants to win that would be a gargantuan ask, which is why his more immediate target is Steve Jones's national record of 2hr 07min 13sec set in Chicago in 1985. "My main target is going for the British record but I'm going to be there with the guys too," he said. "The guys could run 2:07, 2:06, 2:02, I don't know what is going to happen. It's going to be an incredible race whatever happens."
Latest in Sport
Newcaslte vs Everton: Latest news and score plus the rest of today's Premier League action, including Manchester United and Chelsea reaction
Arsenal transfer news: William Carvalho to be subject of £20m bid
West Ham 1 Arsenal 2 player ratings: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? Andy Carroll? Alexis Sanchez? Who was the star man?
Manchester United defender Luke Shaw renting £3.85m home from Cristiano Ronaldo
Liverpool transfer news: Mario Balotelli’s going nowhere and we don’t want striker
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 UK weather: 'Coldest night of the year' tonight as freezing temperatures plummet to -10C
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...