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Saturday, August 19, 2017

'Devastated' Mo Farah weeps after finishing second in final competitive race

Mo Farah of Britain reacts after winning the silver medal. REUTERS
Mo Farah of Britain reacts after winning the silver medal. REUTERS

Sir Mo Farah broke down in tears tonight after finishing second in his last major track appearance at the World Athletics Championships in London.

The athletics legend said he had given 'everything I had' in front of a rapturous home crowd, but ended up gaining a disappointing silver behind Ethiopian Muktar Edris.

And there was controversy before the race as US runner Paul Chelimo made a 'death to Mobot' gesture as the cameras panned along the competitors.

The American followed Farah's signature pose with a throat-cutting motion. He went on to come third, one place behind the Briton.

Farah found space on the inside and finished in 13:33. But he was left devastated following the race and the final chapter in his track career.

He told the BBC: "The 10,000m took a lot more out of me than I had realised. They had a game plan and that was that one was going to sacrifice themselves, but I gave it my all.

"I didn't have a single thing left to give at the end. I got boxed in and couldn't get out."

Sir Mo is quitting the track to focus on marathons after a star-studded career that has made him the most successful British athlete of all time.

Sir Mo's supporters were quick to take to social media to praise his remarkable career, with one writing, "Big love to Mo, what a gent and what a legend."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: "You're a London hero, Mo Farah! An honour to watch your last track race.' He added after the race: "Thank you to an undisputed legend.'

Farah, 34, had already bagged a gold in the World Championships 10,000 metres - his 10th global title.

He will take part in Diamond League races in Birmingham and Zurich, but tonight's race was his last track appearance of note.

The father-of-four first burst onto the scene in 2011 with a gold in the 5,000m at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. In 2013, he bagged a double gold in the two events at the Moscow World Championships.

The same feat was repeated at the World Championships in Beijing two years later, and again at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

But undoubtedly Sir Mo's most memorable triumphs were his two golds in the 10,000m and 5,000m on home soil during London 2012, when his famous 'Mobot' gesture first graced television screens.

It was quite a journey for Sir Mo, who arrived in Britain from Somalia at the age of eight with little English, and first competed as a schoolboy runner in 1996.

Farah tells in his autobiography about an encounter with another boy shortly after arriving in England as an eight-year-old from Somalia when he tried out of the few English phrases he knew - 'C'mon then'.

He ended that day with a black eye and the respected of his classmates.

"Everyone knew about the crazy Somali kid who'd picked a fight with the hardest kid on his first day of school," Farah wrote. "They knew I wasn't weak."

And it has not all been plain sailing for the Briton - he has also had to cope with the impact of serious allegations against his coach, Alberto Salazar.

Salazar is currently under investigation by the US Anti-Doping Agency and denies all wrongdoing.

Reflecting on his track career before tonight's race, Sir Mo said: 'To have achieved what I have achieved has been incredible. I don't think there's enough words to explain the journey and everything.

"But you have to appreciate what you have and do the best that I can. That's what I was taught in my early years. Appreciate it.

"Yeah it is emotional but it has been a long career. You guys have seen me since I was a child, running around, going to the English Schools. To come this far has been incredible."

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