Farah si­lences his crit­ics at Pre­fontaine Clas­sic

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MO Farah pounded his chest after cross­ing the fin­ish line on a US track for per­haps the fi­nal time.

Farah won the 5,000 me­tres at the Pre­fontaine Clas­sic at Ore­gon’s Hay­ward Field on Satur­day in 13 min­utes, 0.70 sec­onds.

The Bri­tish dis­tance spe­cial­ist plans to re­tire from track races after the world cham­pi­onships in London this Au­gust. He’s said that after that he’ll likely fo­cus on the marathon.

Amer­i­can Ron­nie Baker bested both coun­try­man Justin Gatlin and Cana­dian An­dre De Grasse to win the men’s 100, while Tori Bowie pre­vailed over a strong field that in­cluded Allyson Felix and Ja­maican Elaine Thompson to win the 200 on a bril­liantly sunny but breezy day.

Farah, who was knighted by Queen El­iz­a­beth late last year, was the star of the Di­a­mond League’s lone stop in the United States, hold­ing off Ethiopian Yomif Ke­jelcha and Kenyan Geoffrey Kam­wor­wor.

He beamed when he said the vic­tory an­swered those naysay­ers who scoff that he is too old at 34.

“If I wasn’t en­joy­ing it, I wouldn’t be win­ning,” Farah said, hold­ing his tod­dler son Hus­sein. “I’m happy, I’m en­joy­ing and I work hard. As long as you work hard and you be­lieve in your­self you can come up with the re­sults.”

Con­sid­ered one of the strong­est 5,000 fields in re­cent mem­ory, Farah was joined in the race by Paul Che­limo, who won sil­ver in the 5K in Rio, and Kenyan Paul Tanui, the sil­ver medal­ist in the 10K. The field was crowded with 29 en­trants.

Baker, a twotime NCAA cham­pion in the 60, was happy to spoil the Pre’s an­tic­i­pated show­down be­tween Gatlin and De Grasse. He won in a wind-aided 9.86 sec­onds.

“I felt great,” Baker said. “I felt like I had a re­ally good start for the first time in a long time, so that was amaz­ing and after that I just went through my mo­tions, ex­e­cuted and came out with a vic­tory.” Amer­i­cans Devon Allen, Aries Mer­ritt and David Oliver chal­lenged Olympic cham­pion Omar McLeod of Ja­maica in the 110 hur­dles, with McLeod com­ing out on top in 13.01 sec­onds. Ronald Levy was sec­ond and Allen was third.

Moro­lake Aki­nosun won the women’s 100 in 10.94.

Tori seemed as sur­prised as any­one that she won the 200, de­scrib­ing the race as “prac­tice” for na­tion­als. She fin­ished in a meet record 21.77 sec­onds.

“My coach and my man­ager made sure they clar­i­fied that this was all to pre­pare for the na­tion­als, so I was like, ‘OK, it’s just prac­tice then,” she said. “I ex­e­cuted my plan and it went well.”

Other win­ners Satur­day in­cluded Amer­i­cans Jas­mine Stow­ers, who won the 100 hur­dles in 12.59; Chris­tian Tay­lor, who won the Triple Jump in 59 feet, 5 inches; LaShawn Mer­ritt, who ran the 400 in 44.79; and Sam Ken­dricks, who won the pole vault with a leap of 19 feet, 2 3/4 inches.

South Africa’s Caster Se­menya won the women’s 800 in 1:57.78; Kenya’s Faith Kipye­gon won the 1,500 in 3:59.67. AP

I’m happy,

I’m en­joy­ing and I work hard. As long as you work hard and you be­lieve in your­self you can come up with the re­sults.



Mo Farah cel­e­brates win­ning the 5,000m in the Pre­fontaine Clas­sic on Satur­day.

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