Mo Farah has point to prove as proper business begins



Didn’t he do well? That last lap of Mo Farah’s in the 5,000 metres at the European Team Championships at Gateshead last Saturday was some sight to behold: a sizzling 50.89sec, positively Boltesque by distance-running standards.

Then came the clowning around with Bruce Forsyth at Wimbledon on Wednesday, and the flouting of royal box etiquette. Yes, it’s been quite a week for the double golden boy of London 2012, but tomorrow in Birmingham it’s time to get down to serious business.

“This is the big one,” Farah acknowledged yesterday, looking ahead to his 12-and-a-half lap confrontation in the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix with the two leading 5,000m men thus far in 2013, the Ethiopians Hagos Gebrhiwet and Yenew Alamirew. “This is where the business end of the season starts for me. It’s a very strong field. I’ve been looking forward to this race since my disappointment in Eugene at the start of the month. It’s important that I come out and win the race, first and foremost. It’s not about the time.”

Farah’s first venture on to the Diamond League circuit, in the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, four weekends ago, ended in defeat. Suffering from the after-effects of a stomach virus, the 30-year-old Briton found he did not quite have enough left in the tank to hold off Kenya’s Edwin Soi when it came to the last lap burn-up in the 5,000m. His last lap at Gateshead a week ago hinted at a full recovery but a victory against two of his major rivals for the 5,000m title at the World Championships in Moscow in August would get the lingering disappointment out of his system. Asked whether he felt he had something to prove in Birmingham, Farah replied: “For sure. You never want to lose a race. I was disappointed to lose in Eugene, but Soi is a great athlete. It would be good for me to come out in Birmingham and win the race. Moscow is not too far away and even when you’re a world and Olympic champion, you’re only as good as your last race. You can’t look at what you did last year or the year before.”

Tomorrow’s race also affords Farah the opportunity to record another  victory against the one man who has beaten him in an outdoor major championship final in the past two years. The stellar field includes Ibrahim Jeilan, the Ethiopian who caught the Londoner by surprise in the final 200m of the World Championship 10,000m final in Daegu in 2011. Jeilan was reduced to the role of also-ran by the 19-year-old Gebrhiwet in the Diamond League 5,000m race in New York last month. Gebrhiwet himself, though, was eclipsed by a 54sec last lap by Alamirew in Rome on 6 June.

Farah’s time for his final 400m in Gateshead was achieved off a near-  funereal pace to the bell but still suggested that he has the basic speed to see off his rivals in a tactical race. “I’d be very surprised if it came down to the last 400m in Birmingham,” he said. “I think someone will go at some point before that.”

* Eight more Turkish athletes have reportedly been caught using banned substances, days after eight of the country’s weightlifters were pulled out of the Mediterranean Games after failing doping tests at a training camp Anadolu news agency said the latest group includes the 2004 Olympic hammer silver medallist, Esref Apak.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Beverley James: Accounts Payable

£22,000 - £23,000: Beverley James: Are you looking for the opportunity to work...

Beverley James: Accounts Assistant

£30,000: Beverley James: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a person looki...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower