Farah bids goodbye to track in style on home soil

Farah bids goodbye to track in style on home soil

20 August 2017 / 19:41

Mo Farah stormed clear to win the 3000m in a thrilling final lap at the Birmingham Diamond League meeting in his last track appearance on home soil.

The 34-year-old, who is switching to road racing in 2018, came home in 7:38.64 after holding off fierce competition from Spain’s Adel Mechaal - who had to settle for second - down the back straight.

Farah, who won his sixth World Championship gold in London earlier this month, paid tribute to the boisterous Birmingham crowd that roared him onto victory at the Alexander Stadium.  

"It's been an amazing week. I've had a little bit of downtime with the family to relax. The emotion was high and I had a lot of support from the home crowd," said the four-time Olympic champion. 

"I was trying to think about winning the race and the rest of the field. This is what we dream of – having a home crowd cheer you on – and I want to thank everyone who has supported me and followed my journey.

"I never dreamed of becoming four times Olympic Champion and a multiple World Champion. All I ever dreamed of was competing for Britain.

"I just want to continue to see what I can do on the road, without having a target on my back, and try to enjoy it without so much pressure."

Farah will race one more time on the track in Zurich at the end of the season, where he is expected to compete in the 5,000m, and hinted that fans could see him out on the road at the Tokyo Olympics.

"If I'm the best in the marathon and can compete… it depends," he added.

"I think it is going to take at least two or three marathons to get it right to learn from it. It is not easy."

Elsewhere at the Alexander Stadium, after finishing fourth in the 200m – a race won by Dafne Schippers - at London’s World Championships earlier this month, Dina Asher-Smith finished ahead of the Dutchwoman over 100m as the 21-year-old British record holder came home fifth in a time of 11.21s.

In the men’s event, CJ Ujah recorded his fourth win of the year at a Diamond League meet as he raced home ahead of James Dasaolu and Zharnel Hughes to take the all-British race in 10.08 seconds.

But there was disappointment for Adam Gemili, part of the World Champion 4x100m relay team in London, after the 23-year-old was disqualified for a false start.

One of the stand out performances of the day came from Dwayne Cowan, as he ended a fine season in style with victory in the 400m and set a new personal best of 45.34s.

Jake Wightman also had a lot to celebrate as he became the first British winner of the Emsley Carr Mile since 2005, after he outsprinted compatriot Chris O’Hare down the home straight to win in 3:54.92.

And fresh from his fourth-place finish at the world championships, Kyle Langford had to settle for sixth in the 800m behind winner Nijel Amos, world silver medallist Adam Kszczot and compatriot Elliot Giles.

Eilish McColgan set a personal best in a highly competitive women’s 3000m, which was won by world bronze medallist Sifan Hassan, while Holly Bradshaw finished second in the pole vault with a clearance of 4.61m.

The men’s and women’s hammer competitions took on a new dynamic in the form of a combined pairs event, where the best efforts of each thrower were added together to determine the winner.

And it was a fine team display from Sophie Hitchon and Nick Miller, who recorded bests of 70.96m and 71.69m respectively to finish second behind Poland.

But it was a different story for Lynsey Sharp, who was pipped by Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu in the women’s 800m, despite dipping under the two-minute barrier. 

Sportsbeat 2017

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