News ID: 199092
Published: 0150 GMT August 21, 2017

Farah wins final race on home soil

Farah wins final race on home soil
Mo Farah (R) of Great Britain hands his shirt to Andrew Butchart after winning the men’s 3000m during the IAAF Diamond League event in Birmingham on August 20, 2017.
STEPHEN POND/GETTY IMAGES

British distance great Mo Farah sprinted clear to win the 3000m at the Birmingham Diamond League meeting in his final track meeting on home soil.

The 34-year-old, who is switching to road racing in 2018, came home in 7:38.64 minutes.

"All I dreamed of as a youngster was running for Britain," said the four-time Olympic gold medalist.

Farah took his sixth World Championship gold in London earlier this month – to go with two silvers – and also has four Olympic titles.

Neither his narrow failure to complete another 5000m and 10000m world title double in London nor the leak of an interim report from an anti-doping investigation into his American coach Alberto Salazar had dampened the Birmingham crowd's enthusiasm for this sendoff.

Farah – who has won more world-level track gold medals than any other British athlete – was roared to victory by a raucous crowd, who had to be reminded to save their cheers as the athletes prepared for the gun.

He said on Friday that his UK track farewell would be more "celebratory" than the frenzied and, at times, physical contests from which he took 10000m gold and 5000m silver in London, and so it proved.

Adel Mechaal, who finished just off a podium place in the world 1500m final 10 days ago, pushed to overtake Farah down the back straight in Birmingham. But just as at the Diamond League meeting in London earlier this year, the Spaniard was left trailing by Farah's formidable kick for home.

The Briton's time was well short of the 7:32.76 he clocked at the same event last year to break Dave Moorcroft's national record.

 

Farah for Tokyo 2020?

 

Farah went on to say there was a slim chance he might yet represent Britain at Tokyo 2020.

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

"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."

Farah will race for the final time on the track at the Zurich Diamond League meeting on Thursday, August 24 and finish his season at September's Great North Run.

   
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