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Defending champion Mo Farah fails to qualify for Tokyo Olympics 10,000m race

Britain’s Mo Farah will not defend his 10,000 metres Olympics title after failing to qualify for the Tokyo Games.

• June 26, 2021
Mo Farah
Mo Farah

Britain’s Mo Farah will not defend his 10,000 metres Olympic title after failing to qualify for the Tokyo Games.

The four-time Olympics champion missed the qualifying time in an invitational 10,000 metres at the British Athletics Championships to suffer a devastating blow in Manchester.

Farah needed to go under 27 minutes 28 seconds at the Regional Arena to earn his place on the plane to Tokyo ahead of Sunday night’s deadline.

But he clocked 27 minutes 47.04 seconds and will not defend the 10,000m title he won at the 2012 and 2016 Games.

Farah, a double 5,000m Olympics champion, said trackside: “You go out there and give it all and that’s all you have. It’s quite windy. I tried to push and push and I ran my lungs out.

“That’s all you can do as a human being, give it your all. I’ve had a wonderful career. I’m very grateful. That’s all I had today.

“It’s a tough one. I’ve always said if I can’t compete with the best, I’m not going to be in a final. Tonight wasn’t good enough.”

The invitational race was hastily arranged after Farah failed to qualify during the 10,000m trials in Birmingham earlier this month.

He was the second Brit home in eighth on that occasion, behind Marc Scott in 27 minutes 50.54 seconds, and blamed an ankle problem for hampering his attempt.

It was the first time he had lost a 10,000m race in a decade, having decided to return to the track after focusing on the marathon since 2017.

Earlier, Dina Asher-Smith clocked 11.28 seconds to win the opening 100m heat.

The championship record-holder eased into Saturday’s semi-final as her Olympics countdown continued.

“It’s really good to come here to the British Olympics trials, I want to earn the right to be in the next round which means running well,” she said.

“I always believed it (Tokyo) was going to happen. So, it’s been quite easy to stay motivated. That goal never changes.”

Asher-Smith qualified fastest ahead of Daryll Neita and Asha Philip while CJ Ujah reached the men’s semi-final in 10.56secs.

European champion Zharnel Hughes won his heat in 10.50secs with Andrew Robertson also winning his heat.

In the women’s 400m hurdles, heat winners Jessie Knight, 56.88secs, Jessica Turner, 56.96secs, Lina Nielsen, 57.66secs, and Meghan Beesley, 57.53secs, all progressed to Saturday’s final.

It is the first time this century the Championships have not been broadcast on television after the BBC opted not to renew their deal last year.

It is however being streamed by British Athletics on YouTube.


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