Mo Farah raced the Müller British Athletics 10,000m Championships in Birmingham on Saturday, crossing the line in 27:50.64 and finishing well back of the leaders in eighth place. The race, which doubled as the British 10,000m Championships, was Farah’s first at the distance since 2017, when he won gold at the world championships in London. He was the second Brit across the line, just behind Marc Scott, who finished in 27:49.94.
Men's race at European 10,000m Cup has begun.
Mo Farah running his first 10k in 1,401 days, chasing the 27:28 Olympic standard. Evidently he has become a Breathe Right strip guy in the interim. pic.twitter.com/VERqfkcWYV
— Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) June 5, 2021
A long wait
For years, Farah was the man to beat at the 5,000m and 10,000m. He won gold in both events at the past two Olympics, and he added world championship medals at both distances on eight occasions (winning six gold and two silver medals) between 2011 and 2017. Before Saturday, Farah’s last loss over 10,000m came all the way back in 2011, when he finished in second at the world championships in South Korea.
After the 2017 season, Farah shifted his focus to the road as he looked to find the same level of dominance in the half and full marathons he’d had on the track in the 5,000m and 10,000m. He was successful in these races, running to British records in both (59:32 in the half and 2:05:11 in the full), but he didn’t dominate, so he decided to drop back down to the shorter track races ahead of the Tokyo Games.
Unfortunately for Farah, he left his qualifying attempt quite late, as athletes only have until the end of June to book their tickets to Tokyo. After missing the Olympic standard of 27:28.00 on Saturday in Birmingham, he now has less than a month to run another 10,000m race, and he’ll have to shave at least 22 seconds off his latest time in order to have a shot at being named to the British team.
There are easier jobs than talking to Mo Farah after he's just finished eighth.
Here's my attempt.pic.twitter.com/LWWBVHJj6U
— Tom Harle (@TomHarleSB) June 5, 2021
A disappointing loss
Farah finished more than a minute off his 10,000m PB (which is also the European record) of 26:46.57 on Saturday. The race saw three men dip under Olympic standard, and the top six finishers hit personal bests (overall, 13 men ran PBs). The win went to Morhad Amdouni of France, who stopped the clock in 27:23.39. This time smashed Amdouni’s previous best of 27:36.80, and it’s likely to get him on the start line of the 10,000m in Tokyo this summer (no other French man has hit Olympic standard in the event).
Second place went to Belgium’s Bashir Abdi, who trains with Farah, in 27:24.41. Spain’s Carlos Mayo finished in third in 27:25.00. In the women’s race, Britain’s Eilish McColgan won in 31:19.35. For full results from Birmingham, click here.