Mo Farah involved in incredible Twitter row with British team-mate Andy Vernon
Mo Farah became embroiled in a remarkable slanging match with British teammate Andy Vernon on Tuesday evening, labeling his fellow long-distance runner “an embarrassment” after the pair traded blows for more than an hour on Twitter.
Only last summer the athletes posed for photographs together after completing an historic British one-two at the European Championships in Zurich. However, all friendship appeared to be forgotten on Tuesday as they resorted to petty insults on the social network.
The incredible exchange began when Vernon, who won medals behind Farah in both the 5,000m and 10,000m at the European Championships last summer, criticised the lack of competition the double Olympic champion will face when he makes his seasonal bow at the Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday.
“Another stellar field against Mo Farah on home turf this weekend at Birmingham. #joke," wrote Vernon.
Farah, 31, is the headline act for the world’s premier indoor meeting of the season but, aside from two-time Olympic medallist Bernard Lagat of the United States, he faces little in the way of world-class opposition in the two-mile event.
Farah responded to Vernon’s tweet, saying: "Shame you didn't make the line up....again #ComeBackWhenYouWinSomethingDecent.”
The British teammates then embarked on a series of school playground insults as the slanging match escalated.
"Lol Mo Farah I think even you can work out that I can make the cut to the Indoor Grand Prix. Lets hope no one loses their shoe..." wrote Vernon, to which Farah responded: "I wish you did make the cut mate so I can leave you in my dust like ALWAYS!! Hahahaha #hatersgonnahate"
Vernon then replied: “1) stop quoting Taylor Swift. 2) I don't hate you Mo. I would just rather watch a race than the Mo Show. #playersgonnaplay.”
Farah’s final post of the exchange read: "That's why they didn't put you in the race mate.. Cos you're an embarrassment!! Taylor swift can probably run faster than you!"
Lol @Mo_Farah I think even you can work out that I can make the cut to the Indoor Grand Prix. Lets hope no one loses their shoe...— Andy Vernon (@AndyVernonGB) February 17, 2015
@AndyVernonGB that's why they didn't put you in the race mate.. Cos you're an embarrassment!! Taylor swift can probably run faster than you!— Mo Farah (@Mo_Farah) February 17, 2015
It is no secret that Farah is often given weaker fields to compete against when he takes parts in home events organised by British Athletics.
The London 2012 double gold medallist last lined up on the track for a two-mile race in Birmingham in what became little more than a procession with Farah finishing a full 15 seconds in front of his nearest rival.
Ironically Vernon finished sixth that day and the 29-year-old, who won the first major medals of his career at last summer’s European Championships, would almost certainly have been invited to compete this weekend had he not been injured.
The argument was a far cry from the jubilant scenes as the pair embarked on a lap of honour together after taking European 10,000m gold and silver in Zurich last summer.
However, it is not the first time Vernon has found himself embroiled in a Twitter row with a British teammate following a similarly childish exchange with 800m runner Lynsey Sharp last August.
That argument came when Sharp commented on her achievement of recovering to win a silver medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games less than 24 hours after being on a hospital drip due to illness.
Having sarcastically said Sharp should mention her silver medal more on Twitter, Vernon then wrote: “I don’t use a drip to get my medals.”
That prompted Sharp to reply: “Andy Vermin, I had 5ml of fluid through a drip, about the same volume as one tear I just cried looking at your performances.”
Vernon later posted that he would apologise in person to Sharp for a joke that “got out of hand”