Farah says it is ‘weird’ he missed out on top sport awards

Farah had hoped to be on the podium after his double gold medal triumph at the Rio Olympics

Sir Mo Farah in Holyrood Park prior to Saturday’s Great Edinburgh XCountry in Scotland. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Sir Mo Farah in Holyrood Park prior to Saturday’s Great Edinburgh XCountry in Scotland. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

 

Mo Farah has admitted that he found it “weird” that he again missed out on a top-three finish in the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award last month despite his double gold medal triumph at the Rio Olympics.

Speaking publicly for the first time since finishing fourth in the annual award just before Christmas, Farah made it clear that he had hoped to be on the podium.

“It was a bit weird. I just thought, ‘oh, I might have been in the top three’. I don’t know if I would have won it, but it is not something in my control.”

When asked whether he wondered why he was not more popular, given his four Olympic and five world championship gold medals on the track, Farah replied: “Yeah, you do think a little bit like, ‘what can you do?’ But racing and winning medals for my country is what drives me, and no one can take away what I have achieved. That means more than anything else, along with putting my GB vest on.”

Farah also expressed his appreciation to triathlete Alistair Brownlee, who finished in second place behind Andy Murray in the BBC award, for saying that he was staggered that Farah had finished in the top three of Spoty (Sports Personality of the Year) only once, in 2011.

“Alistair is an amazing athlete – and I have a lot of respect for him to come out and say what he needed to say. If I had a vote I would have voted for him, for sure, because that memory of him picking up his brother really touched me.”

Changed nationalities

“I don’t agree when you have been competing for one country and you decide to switch. When you represent your country, you have to represent a country that you love, and you have been there for a long time. That is your country, that is you.”

Another Kenyan, the European cross-country silver medallist Polat Kemboi Arikan, also switched to compete for Turkey in 2011. “It’s a different thing if you have been there for seven, eight years, that’s fine,” Farah added, “but to just switch overnight, that’s difficult. It makes athletics look poor.”

Farah, who will also face American Garrett Heath who beat him in this race last year, admits he is not in top shape, but said he was looking forward to the race – where he will be introduced as Sir Mo Farah for the first time in competition.

“To be given the title is something I never dreamed of as a kid. Coming to GB and not speaking a world of English, to having achieved what I have achieved and to be recognised for running for my country, which I love running for – to be given that title, there is no word to describe it. It’s just an honour.

Work hard

Farah also praised Scottish athlete Laura Muir who once again showed her talent by breaking Liz McColgan’s 25-year-old British indoor 5,000m record by more than 14 seconds during the week – in only her second attempt at the event.

Muir, who will compete in a mixed 4x1km relay on Saturday afternoon, says she will consider doubling up in the 1,500m and 5,000m at the world championships in London in the summer.

Farah believes she will take on his mantle as the top British middle-distance runner when he quits the track at the end of this year to concentrate on running marathons.

“It is pretty amazing to see Laura do so well, I’ve seen her the last couple of years and been in championships with her and know she’s a fighter,” said Farah.. “I’ve seen her in Font-Romeu training and she trains like a beast. It is possible. She has that dream of becoming that Olympic champion. And she will.” Guardian News and Media 2017.

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