Bolt defeat worries Farah as he eyes date with destiny

Bolt defeat worries Farah as he eyes date with destiny

09 August 2017 / 21:26
Mo Farah claims he has no fear of failure but admits Usain Bolt's farewell race gave him a real shock.

farahGettyImages-828428160Farah eased through his 5,000m heat at the World Championships to set a Saturday night showdown with all-comers in his last ever track race at London's Olympic Stadium.

And if Bolt's 100m defeat to Justin Gatlin sucked the energy from this place, just imagine what will happen if Farah doesn't deliver an 11th global gold on a track that's become his second home.

However, the comparison between the two athletes is not necessarily a fair one. Bolt arrived in the capital looking vulnerable but Farah looks as sharp as ever, his victory in the 10,000m arguably the greatest of his career.

"Anything is possible but it won't be easy as we saw with Usain Bolt," he said. 

"Sport is unpredictable and strange things happen. I would have loved to have seen Usain win but at this level no-one is going to give it you, no matter who you are. Even Usain 
Bolt is a human being after all.

"I have to focus on myself. I'd love to do it, it would be historic and it would mean the world to me. But these boys are hungry and they are coming for me and I'm not taking anything for granted."

Paula Radcliffe claims she can't see Farah being beaten, something few pundits and experts would have confidently claimed about Bolt, whose form this season is bit described as sketchy.

And on the evidence of his latest race she may have a point. Farah tracked his rivals comfortably and secured his qualification place with ease. It was textbook stuff, a nice run to stretch the legs but nothing too strenuous. However, he knows the final see no quarter asked or given.

Leaden skies above London turned this into a soggy evening for fans. So much for the organisers much vaunted 'Summer of Athletics', the biggest seller in the official shop was a wooly hat.

Farah - who spends much of his year in the heat of Arizona or altitude training in Africa - splashed his way around and it take more than puddles to prevent his date with destiny.

He insists he's fully recovered from the cuts and bruises he picked up in his 10,000m victory and even had the time to spend a night at the family home - before the kids drove him back to the team hotel for some peace and quiet.

"That was cold and miserable but I've had five days of chilling out and recovering and it was nice to get back running again," added Farah, who'll be joined in Saturday night's final by team-mate Andrew Butchart, who finished sixth at last year's Olympics.

"The knee feels fine but the body still feels a bit a bit tired, so I'll do my recovery, get in the zone and get back for the final.

"They wanted to prove a point in that heat and it will be the same in the final but I'm ready for it."

mitchellblakeGettyImages-828431274Meanwhile, rising British sprint star Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake advanced to the men's 200m final but many big names failed to deliver in the washout weather.

Former world 100m champion Yohan Blake and Olympic bronze medallist Christophe Lemaitre didn't advance while track and field's newest superstar Wayde Van Niekerk, looking to add to his 400m gold, only just scraped through.

But Mitchell-Blake progressed as the fifth fastest qualifier, though faced an anxious wait before his spot was confirmed. Team-mate Danny Talbot did not progress after failing to repeat his personal best performance from the heat.

"The conditions are the same for everyone and I just had to execute my race, which I did," said Mitchell-Blake.

"I really feel like there is more to come. I'm going to seize this opportunity and leave it on the track. You can talk about everyone else and Wayde is a sensational athlete but 
I'm just concentrating on my lane and my lane only."

Elsewhere, Lorraine Ugen made the women's long jump final and Nick Miller progressed the men's hammer final.

But don't doubt the days ahead will be the Mo Show.

Sportsbeat 2017