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Mo Farah in 3,000 metres victory at Birmingham

Great Britain's Mo Farah on his way to winning the men's 3,000 metres during the British Athletics Birmingham Grand Prix. Picture: PA

Great Britain's Mo Farah on his way to winning the men's 3,000 metres during the British Athletics Birmingham Grand Prix. Picture: PA

  • by MARK WOODS
 

Mo Farah delivers. He usually does. And, in his only domestic appearance of the indoor season, the double Olympic champion coasted to victory over 3,000 metres at the Grand Prix in Birmingham in a valuable diversion from his trans-Atlantic training regime.

The track – specifically this summer’s world championships – and the road are where the Londoner’s true ambitions lie.

Here, he was briefly threatened by Florian Carvalho but then left the Frenchman floundering as the pace was significantly increased over the latter stages.

“It was brilliant,” he declared. “It was important that I tried to win my only indoor race, so that was good. I’ve been doing loads of miles. I’ve got a lot of miles under my legs but we’re good.

“Now I’m definitely looking 
forward to the outdoor season and the Worlds should be great.”

Eilidh Child obliterated the Scottish indoor 400 metres record that she set only eight days ago, moving up to fourth in the all-time UK 
rankings with a run of 51.50 seconds. It was, however, only good enough to come third as the Scot found 
herself, as so often in her career, edged out by fellow hurdles specialist Perri Shakes-Drayton in the latest in a long line of battles between the British pair.

Both were well behind American Natasha Hastings who clocked a world-leading 50.88 seconds. However, Child will now go to the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg in two weeks time with genuine medal hopes.

“I’d not really thought about them properly up to now because I’ve always had another race to focus on,” said the Perth athlete.

“Now that the Europeans are my next race, I am starting to feel excited. I’m racing so much better this year.

“When we were in Glasgow last month, I gave everyone too much respect and let them get away from me. But here I wasn’t letting anyone cut in front of me.

“I have to run a good tactical race at the Europeans but I know, if I do, I can come away with a medal.”

Guy Learmonth’s hopes of going to the Europeans hang in the balance despite setting a new personal best of 1:47.41 in the 800 metres.

The 20-year-old from Lasswade had topped the UK rankings but, with trials winner Muskrat Mohammed booking his place for Gothenburg by earning the qualifying time, the selectors now face a quandary when they meet tomorrow.

Lynsey Sharp, however, did enough to secure her spot in the British team for Sweden by coming third in the women’s 800m.

The European silver medallist, from Edinburgh, was held off by Jenny Meadows in a last-lap battle but her time of 2:03.07 was a new indoor best. Yet it is a sign of her ambitions that she was less than satisfied. “I know I’m in better shape than that,” she said.

Eilish McColgan delivered her fastest-ever 3000m, inside or out, in coming fourth behind Helen Clitheroe, suggesting that the Carnoustie athlete’s first bout of training at 
altitude will pay dividends.

Meanwhile, Scottish Athletics coaching chief Stephen Maguire has urged his younger prospects to 
signal their intent in today’s National Indoor Championships at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

“We have a few nice athletes coming through who are ready to perform,” the Northern Irishman said. “But let’s see how they can put it all together.” Lee McConnell competes in the 200m.

 

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