Farah’s award flop mys­ti­fies fel­low Olympic heroes

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: Olympic gold medal­ists Alis­tair Brown­lee and Nick Skel­ton ex­pressed their sur­prise Bri­tish ath­let­ics le­gend Mo Farah was again snubbed by the pub­lic for the pres­ti­gious BBC Sports Per­son­al­ity of the Year award.

Brown­lee, who re­tained his Olympic ti­tle in Rio and also gained wide­spread re­spect for help­ing his ail­ing younger brother Jonny across the line in a triathlon in Mex­ico this year, fin­ished run­ner-up to Andy Mur­ray in the poll with Skel­ton, who won showjump­ing gold at the ven­er­a­ble age of 58, in third.

For Mur­ray-who gar­nered al­most 250,000 votes over dou­ble the to­tal of Brown­lee-it was a his­toric third BBC award. Farah-de­spite em­u­lat­ing Fin­nish icon Lasse Viren (1972/76) as the only ath­lete to do the Olympic dis­tance dou­ble twice (5000/10000 me­tres) — fin­ished way be­hind in terms of the pop­u­lar vote in fourth. Skel­ton-whose sport gets barely any main­stream cov­er­age apart from the Olympics-re­ceived just over 109,000 votes with the much higher pro­file Farah get­ting only 54,476.

Both Brown­lee and Skel­ton said they would have voted for him with the for­mer say­ing Farah’s per­sonal story was re­mark­able be­ing brought to Bri­tain from war-torn So­ma­lia as a young child.

“I’m not sure why that is that he hasn’t made the top three,” said Brown­lee. “Maybe some peo­ple don’t see him as Bri­tish. It’s re­ally sad be­cause for me he is the per­fect Bri­tish story.

“It’s what we should be about: a per­son who comes to Bri­tain as a young man, as a refugee, and an ex-school teacher iden­ti­fies some­thing that he’s bril­liant at and he rep­re­sents Bri­tain as the best in the world.

“I think that’s a fan­tas­tic Bri­tish story. I would have voted for Mo.” Farah’s best fin­ish is third in the 2011 poll. He has filled fourth spot on two other oc­ca­sions in­clud­ing 2012 when he lit up the track in Lon­don to se­cure his first Olympic dou­ble-and sixth in 2015.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.