Mo Farah’s Olympic hopes in balance as he misses Tokyo 2020 10,000m qualification

Farah rode a 10,000-meter course for the first time since the 2017 World Championships

Two-time defending champions Mo Farah’s hopes of representing Great Britain over the Olympic 10,000m appear to be over after missing the qualifying mark in the European 10,000m Cup.

The 38-year-old finished eighth behind his compatriot Marc Scott in a race that also served as an Olympic trial.

Farah’s time of 27 minutes 50.54 seconds in Birmingham was more than 22 seconds short of the required time.

Farah said afterwards that he injured his left ankle.

“I am disappointed with the result,” he said.

“The last 10 days have not been great, but no matter what I achieve in my career, it is important that I get out and show at the exams.

“It would have been easy not to show it. I dug myself in deeply and with 15 laps to go, you know my face, it hurt me a lot. I had to keep fighting and digging in.

“What makes us great is being able to challenge yourself and prove yourself. That’s what you need to do next.”

Farah has until June 27 to delve into the 27:28 standard for Tokyo.

Alternatively, he could turn his attention to the 5,000m, an event in which he won gold at the British Championships on June 26 in both London 2012 and Rio 2016.

However, Farah’s disappointing performance suggests his plan to retire after a comeback on the Tokyo track may be brought forward.

Farah has spent the past three and a half years repeating his track success on the road, but his marathon switch didn’t last.

On his first 10,000-meter course since winning the 2017 world title at the London Stadium, it was clear that the event had continued.

Joshua Cheptegei from Uganda, who finished second in London 2017, succeeded him as world champion and broke the 15-year world record of Kenenisa Bekele in October with a time more than 35 seconds faster than Farah could achieve in his best form.

Scott’s prediction that Farah’s aura of invincibility had faded proved correct when he finished 0.7 seconds ahead of his domestic rival. As the first Briton at home and qualifying in February, it was enough to get his own ticket to Tokyo.

The Frenchman Morhad Amdouni was clear ahead of both with 27: 23.39 minutes.

Eilish McColganEilish McColgan will represent Great Britain at the third Olympic Games after running the 2012 obstacle course in London and the 5,000m in Rio in 2016

In the women’s elite race, Eilish McColgan overtook Israeli Selamawit Teferi in the final 50 meters to claim victory in 31: 19.21 and confirm her place in Tokyo, but the real emotion erupted behind the leading couple.

Jess Judd collapsed in tears as she finished third in 31:20.84 hours, a time good enough to get her to the Olympics for the first time.

The 26-year-old climbed to 10,000 m for the first time after a career in medium and short distances last month, on which occasion she fell less than a second behind the Olympic qualification standard of 31:25.

“I’m humming, I’m absolutely overjoyed”, She said Athletics Weekly.external link “I never thought it would happen.”

Verity Ockenden and Amy-Eloise Markovc finished fourth and fifth – both outside of the Olympic qualifying time.

McColgan’s qualification means she will compete in Tokyo 30 years later after her mother Liz won the 10,000m gold in the Japanese capital.


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