Monday 19 February 2018

Farah heaps praise on Salazar and sets sights on marathon

Mo Farah celebrates winning the Men’s 5000m final at the Olympic Stadium in Rio. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.
Mo Farah celebrates winning the Men’s 5000m final at the Olympic Stadium in Rio. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Ian Herbert

A euphoric Mo Farah declared in the aftermath of his double Rio gold that he has run his last Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m race and will move up to the marathon after next August's World Championships in London.

It had been anticipated for some time that the more lucrative marathon circuit would draw the 33-year-old in, and Farah said he believed that after a couple of key events he could become competitive in it.

"I believe that I need to practise and run a couple of key marathons in terms of going on and becoming successful at the marathon," he said.

Farah reflected on how these past two Olympics have changed his life. "It's changed who I am. 2012 changed me who I am - not as a person but in terms of level of going out in the street and doing stuff."


He is now expected to receive a knighthood for his achievements - the latest of which was victory in a compelling 5,000m in the Olympic Stadium on Saturday night, when he overcame threats from every direction to drive home.

The public acclaim for him still does not seem to be as strong as might in some quarters, with his working relationship with coach Alberto Salazar one of the reasons.

Salazar has never answered some of the searching questions concerning his alleged manipulation of the athletics anti-doping system, but Farah heaped praise on the American, who also delivered 1,500m winner Matthew Centrowitz on Saturday night.

"It's good. It's brilliant," said Farah. He again ducked questions about his relationship with Jama Aden, who was arrested in June a part of a drugs surveillance operation.

The threat was precisely as Farah had anticipated it in Saturday's final, with the Ethiopians Hagos Gebrhiwet and Dejen Gebremeskel taking it in turns to assume the lead at the front of the pack, setting a pace that they had hoped would tire the Briton.

But Farah had a compatriot of his own for company. He and Andrew Butchart ran closely together for much of middle section as Farah kept well within touch of the Africans.

"Andrew Butchart is the man," Farah said. "I'm very grateful for the way he helped me out in the race. He was protecting me and he was helping me out. And there's not many people out there who would do that for another athlete.

"He's a nice lad. He's sensible. He has a lot to learn, but he has great talent. I've got a lot of time for him."

Farah insisted he would be on the track next summer, saying: "I owe it to the people, the public. So many people have been behind me, so I'm going to line up, no matter - half-injured whatever, you will see me on that track. After that we will analyse it and see what my goal is." (© Independent News Service)

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