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

athletics correspondent

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."

people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

QA/BA - Agile

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

PPA Supply Teachers

£121 - £142 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Early Years, KS1 & 2 Prima...

Primary Supply Teacher

£121 - £142 per annum: Randstad Education Luton: Early Years, KS1 & 2 Prim...

Primary Supply Teacher

£121 - £142 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Primary supply teacher Hertford...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?