11 August 2012

Mo Farah Hoping For Historic Win On London's Penultimate Night In The Spotlight

The host nation has put on a great show over the last couple of weeks and have matched that with excellent performances around the various Olympic venues. On the penultimate day of Olympic action team GB have already sealed one gold medal thanks to trainee accountant Ed McKeever in the K1 200 metre canoe sprint.  18-year-old diver Tom Daley has qualified for tonight's 10 metre platform final after finishing in fourth in the semi-final. Despite only reaching the semi-finals by the skin of his teeth, a much improved effort this morning will give him high medal hopes. Boxer Luke Campbell faces Irishman John Joe Nevin in the ExCel Arena in the men's bantamweight gold medal bout at 20:45. 

So with gold medal chances aplenty around London Great Britain will be hopeful of ending these historic Games with a good weekend. Tonight will be the last session of athletics competition and all eyes will be on Somalian-born Brit Mo Farah as he looks to complete the long-distance double of 10,000 and 5,000 metres. He has had a golden three years with three European golds, a world championship gold and last Saturday's thrilling 10,000 metres win. 

Four years ago Britain's first ever long-distance Olympic winner failed to even qualify for the 5,000 metre final but this time around he is one of the favourites to win it. In Barcelona in 2010 the runner won his first ever major titles as he became the first man in 66 years to win the European long-distance track double. This sparked a turn-around as he went from middle of the pack battler to front-runner. He went to Daegu last summer as the favourite for the 10,000 metres but made his move a fraction too early and was overhauled by Ethiopian Ibahim Jelian as he was made to settle for silver in his favoured event. He came back brilliantly in the 5,000 though as he beat Bernard Lagat to win gold. In aftermath of the race Dave Moorcroft, former 5,000 metre world record holder, hailed him 'Britain's greatest male long-distance runner.'

Tonight Mohamed Farah could write himself a place in British sporting annals as he tries to do what no Briton has ever accomplished before; the 5,000 and 10,000 metre Olympic double. He is aiming to join an elite group of only five men that includes his rival, the great Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele. Moorcroft thinks that Farah is on the cusp of history: “His place is assured as the greatest British male endurance runner but if he was to do it, you couldn’t think of a greater achievement by any British athlete. He stands on the edge of absolute greatness.”

Comments like this only show the magnitude facing one of London's favourite sons and there are many excellent runners who will be out to stop him. His training partner, American Galen Rupp, took silver last Saturday and will be hoping to go one better this time around while the great nations of long-distance running, the Kenyans and Ethiopians, will be out in force to stop Farah tonight. Dejen Gebremeskel and Yenew Alamirew of Ethiopia were the two fastest qualifiers while Farah finished third in his heat behind Kenyan Isiah Kiplangat Koech and Hayle Ibrahimov of Azerbaijan. 

By his own admission Britain's best was tired after that run but after two days rest he should be revitalised and ready for the final. Even when tiredness does kick in he always seems to be able to kick on when it is needed most and the 80,000 strong crowd will be right behind him when push comes to shove. 

No comments:

Post a Comment