British distance great Mo Farah sprinted clear to win the 3000m at the Birmingham Diamond League meeting in his final track meeting on home soil. The 34-year-old, who is switching to road racing in 2018, came home in seven minutes 38.64 seconds.
“This is it. All I dreamed of as a youngster was running for Britain,” said the double Olympic champion. Elsewhere, Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith came fifth in a 100m race won by Olympic champion Elaine Thompson. Farah took his sixth World Championship gold in London earlier this month – to go with two silvers – and also has four Olympic titles. Neither his narrow failure to complete another 5,000m and 10,000m world title double in London nor the leak of an interim report from an anti-doping investigation into his American coach Alberto Salazar had dampened the Birmingham crowd’s enthusiasm for this send-off.
Farah – who has won more world-level track gold medals than any other British athlete in history – was roared to victory by a raucous crowd, who had to be reminded to save their cheers as the athletes prepared for the gun. He said on Friday that his UK track farewell would be more “celebratory” than the frenzied and, at times, physical contests from which he took 10,000m gold and 5,000m silver in London and so it proved. Adel Mechaal, who finished just off a podium place in the world 1500m final 10 days ago, pushed to overtake Farah down the back straight in Birmingham. But just as at the Diamond League meeting in London earlier this year, the Spaniard was left trailing by Farah’s formidable kick for home.
The Briton’s time was well short of the 7:32.76 he clocked at the same event last year to break Dave Moorcroft’s national record. Farah for Tokyo 2020? After a lap of honour in the rain, Farah denied newspaper reports that he had split with coach Barry Fudge, who has overseen his training programme since he distanced himself from Salazar. “Where did you get that from? Barry is still my right-hand man,” he said when asked about his relationship with British Athletics’ head of endurance.
Farah went on to add there was a slim chance that he might yet represent Britain at Tokyo 2020. “If I’m the best in the marathon and can compete… it depends,” he said. “I think it is going to take at least two or three marathons to get it right to learn from it. It is not easy.” Farah will race for the final time on the track at the Zurich Diamond League meeting on Thursday, 24 August and finish his season at September’s Great North Run.
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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