Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah has failed to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Farah missed the qualification mark of 27 minutes and 47 seconds, by 19 seconds in the invitational 10,000m British Athletics Championships in Manchester on Saturday.
Defending Olympic Champion Mo Farah will not fly to Tokyo to defend his 10,000m Olympic title as the qualification deadline closes on Sunday. Farah earlier won the 10,000m titles in London in 2012 as well. Farah had previously moved away from the track to focus on marathon events but made an attempt to make it to the Tokyo Olympics at his favorite distance.
Farah was on course to qualify for the Olympics halfway through the race but eventually fizzled out in the course of the event. He quickly lost his partners and was battling a lone battle to keep up with the time to book the Olympic berth. His pace fell dramatically after the 8000m mark and eventually came way short of the intended target numbers. There were reports that Farah might settle for participation in the 5000m event if not for the 10000m which is also highly unlikely at the moment.
Farah's plans to retire from his favorite event after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics seem to have been fast-forwarded ahead of the games itself with his exclusion to make it to the games. Farah finished the race with cheers from the home crowd and was also embraced by few fans in the venue despite the strict social distance norms.
'Thank you to everyone who's come out. Oh my goodness. I don't know what to say. You go out there and give it your all. I've been lucky enough to have had the long career I've had. I'm very grateful but that's all I had today. It's a tough one. If I can't compete with the best I'm not just going there to finish in a final. Tonight shows it's not good enough,'' added Farah in a trackside interview to Sky Sports after the qualification event.
Farah had earlier missed another opportunity to make it to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He returned to the 10,000m event three years since the 2017 World Championships, just three weeks ago in the European 10,000m Cup. The 38-year old had managed to finish 8th, behind fellow compatriot Marc Scott. He had missed the qualification by 22 seconds of the 27 minutes 47 seconds mark.
Farah's absence at Tokyo 2020 Olympics is a new era in itself for the 10000m event. Uganda's Joshua Cheptegui, who broke the 15-year old record set by Kenenisa Bekele, will be gunning for the Olympic title in Tokyo. His Ugandan compatriot Jacob Kiplimo is also another star name to watch out for at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the absence of Farah.
Despite Farah's absence at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Great Britain will be represented by Marc Scott in the 10000m event, who is currently nursing a foot injury. The British athletics squad for Tokyo 2020 Olympics is all set to be announced on Tuesday and for the first time since 2004, Farah will not be part of the prestigious flight to the Olympic games.