Mo Farah's Clare Balding inspired 'Mobot' comes under attack

 

Given the fact that the next fastest man in the field for the 5,000 metres final on the opening day of the European Championships today is 16 seconds slower than him this summer, Mo Farah could probably perform his new celebration when he lines up in the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki this evening. The chances are that the smiling assassin of distance running will save it for when he crosses the finish line, after his premature "showboating" antics in the 1500m heats at the Olympic trials in Birmingham last Friday were yesterday described as "disrespectful" by one of his beaten rivals, who warned it could cost him Olympic gold.

It is difficult to imagine someone with such a sunny disposition as Farah causing upset but Anthony Whiteman – an Olympic 1500m veteran from 1996 and 2000 – was so enraged by the world 5,000m champion performing the "Mobot" 100m from the finish line in Birmingham that he launched a tirade in The Grimsby Telegraph. "It was out of order," said Whiteman, who entered the home straight directly behind Farah but faded to fifth and failed to qualify for the final. "It was a heat, not a final. It is not acceptable in a heat. He had not won anything.

"On the last lap Mo kept looking round to see the best time to do his showboating. It is disrespectful to the athletes behind him working their backsides off. If he spends even a second in London thinking about his celebration, he will lose. And there will be less people who care about him losing if he keeps behaving like that."

The Mobot was created when Farah appeared on the Sky One show A League Of Their Own and presenter James Corden said he should create a victory pose to match Usain Bolt's. Guest Clare Balding suggested outlining an "M" shape above his head, as in the style of YMCA and Corden christened it the Mobot.

Whiteman also criticised Farah for competing only in the heats at the trials, withdrawing from Saturday's final to concentrate on the defence of his European 5,000m crown today. "If he had just turned up to run the heat so the fans could see him, that is not athletics," Whiteman said. "That is moving away from athletics and towards celebrity. Jessica Ennis would not have done that. She is an athlete first and a celebrity second."

Farah is not the first British athlete to hit the headlines for premature celebrating. Steve Ovett delighted Crystal Palace crowds in the 1970s and 1980s by waving as he hit the front in the home straight. He famously did so in the 5,000m at the south London track in 1980 and slowed down and leaned back to raise his arms as he approached the line – only for the fast-finishing Irishman John Treacy to dip past him in a photo finish.

Gemili confirms he will run 100m for GB at Games

Adam Gemili has removed any doubt about his appearance at the Olympics. The 18-year-old from Dartford said: "My plan is to go to the Olympics and compete with the world's top sprinters and not get beaten too badly."

Gemili laid claim to a place in the GB team by finishing runner-up to Dwain Chambers in the 100m final at the trials but his coach said he was reluctant to throw his charge into the "cauldron". After being named in the British U20 team for next month's World Junior Championships in Barcelona, however, Gemili confirmed he would be accepting his Olympic place.

Simon Turnbull

Suggested Topics
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
Dominique Alderweireld, also known as Dodo de Saumure, is the owner of a string of brothels in Belgium
newsPhilip Sweeney gets the inside track on France's trial of the year
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Tom DeLonge, Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 pictured in 2011.
musicBassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker say Tom Delonge is 'disrespectful and ungrateful'
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'
tvBroadchurch series 2, episode 4, review - contains spoilers
Sport
cyclingDisgraced cycling star says people will soon forgive his actions
News
Britain's Prince Philip attends a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran will play three sell-out gigs at Wembley Stadium in July
music
News
i100
News
Lena Dunham posing for an official portrait at Sundance 2015
people
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
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

Recruitment Genius: Technical Advisor - Automotive Parts

£16400 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading online E-commerce ...

Recruitment Genius: Automotive Parts Manager

£27300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a leading...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Customer Service Advisor

£22000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading boiler ...

Recruitment Genius: International Customer Service Administrators

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join an awa...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea