Paula Radcliffe is confident Mo Farah can bounce back from his recent illness to win double Commonwealth gold in Glasgow.
Farah has been a major doubt since pulling out of the warm-up event, the Glasgow Grand Prix. He was hospitalised last week suffering from abdominal pains and it is thought he will pull out of his street race at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games in London on Sunday in a bid to be fit for Glasgow, which itself is thought to be touch and go.
But Radcliffe said: “I still believe that with his strength and extra training from the London Marathon he can cope with the Commonwealth double, 100 per cent.”
A Commonwealth title is the one major gold to have eluded Farah so far. He has no Commonwealth medal to his name, having missed Delhi four years ago because of fatigue after winning double European gold; he was ninth in the 5,000m at the Melbourne Games in 2006.
“I just hope he’s OK,” added Radcliffe. “I know as a runner how hard it is when you’re injured. In some ways, illness is even harder as you just don’t know when you’ll return.”
Farah spent his winter focusing on the road, having made a temporary switch from the track for the London Marathon. He missed out on the British record, his stated aim, and finished eighth overall before announcing plans to move back to the track.
However, he has been short of racing in the build-up to the Commonwealths and Radcliffe admitted that could hold him up to criticism.
“People will look at the marathon and his training and say maybe that’s left him vulnerable to illness and injury,” she said. “But if he proves his fitness for Glasgow, I think all that marathon training he has in the bank will hold him in good stead.”
Farah’s condition is currently being monitored. His agent Ricky Simms insisted yesterday it was too early to make any decision over his upcoming competitions.
Farah will in any case be a shoo-in for selection for the European Championships. British Athletics selectors will sit down today to finalise the British team for next month’s event, which will be announced on Tuesday.
The big headache for performance director Neil Black and the selection committee is over the third and final spot for the men’s 100m.
Dwain Chambers and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey sealed their places by finishing first and second in the trials, which James Dasaolu missed with special dispensation. In Dasaolu’s absence, Chijindu Ujah, who became the fifth British man under 10 seconds with a time of 9.96 seconds in Holland earlier this summer, failed to back that up in Birmingham and he did not compete in Glasgow over the weekend.
Dasaolu’s consistency and his record from last season, when he clocked 9.91 at the trials, make him likely to get the nod.