More stories

  • in

    Mo Farah targets one final summer of glory with London 2012 hero determined not to let career end on a failure

    MO FARAH is desperate not to finish his career on a failure and plans to run at least once more in GB colours.In an interview with SunSport, Britain’s four-time Olympic gold medallist insists he has at least one more international appearance in his legs.
    Sir Mo Farah wants to compete once more in Team GB colours
    Farah wants to compete in one of the three major events next summerCredit: GETTY
    Though he turns 39 next March, Farah fancies a crack at one of the three major events crunched into next summer’s programme.
    In the space of 6-7 weeks, there are the Oregon World Championships, Birmingham Commonwealths and Munich Europeans.
    Once his left ankle heals properly – he says he is pain-free now – then Farah will decide in January if he requires to go abroad for warm-weather training.
    The last time he was seen in action was in Manchester in June at the Team GB trials where he failed to make the qualifying standard for the Tokyo Olympics.
    Asked about his future plans, Farah said: “I’m not done yet. As long as my body allows me.
    “The desire is still there, the hunger is still there. At the same time, it’s what my body can do.

    “Obviously, I’m 38. That’s not going to lie. I’m getting on a bit but the belief is still there. I’ll see what I can do.
    “The most important thing is to take care of this injury, make sure I am right, and get back to what I can do.
    “You will see me in terms of GB. I’ve done so well for my country throughout so many years. But I won’t just put on the GB vest. You have to earn it.”
    Though he has been cut from the UK Athletics funding stream, Farah would be welcomed back into the international fold according to head coach Christian Malcolm.
    Attempting to qualify for the Paris Olympics in 2024 is off the table as Farah believes at the age of 41 he would not be competitive.
    Another London Marathon is a strong possibility and he could sign off with a farewell 26.2-mile run for the fans in the spring of 2023 – just like Paula Radcliffe did round the streets of London in 2015.
    Farah, speaking at the launch of the Huawei Watch GT 3, said: “Listen, another marathon would be nice. Maybe a half marathon somewhere or 10km. It depends.
    “I have to be realistic and be honest. Outdoors. Rather than indoors or track.
    The 38-year-old believes his body can still keep goingCredit: GETTY
    “The world champs in Oregon? Listen, I couldn’t even qualify for Tokyo – so that’s the first step you know. You cannot just say I’m going to the world champs.
    “The first step is get yourself back in there, feel comfortable where you are at.
    “You go there not just to make the team but to be able to be in a shout with the rest. Over the years, I took it for granted.”
    Farah, who has his track-and-field coaching licence, says in the future he wants to give back his knowledge and expertise to the younger generation.
    And though he couldn’t travel to Japan, he was left inspired watching 19-year-old Keely Hodgkinson win 800m silver on her Olympic debut this summer.
    Farah added: “If Tokyo had happened the way I wanted it to happen that could have been it. But because it didn’t happen, it’s different.
    Farah, however, has ruled out trying to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris
    “From my experience that I have had, I should be able to give back so much more.
    “My final races will be emotional but you have to embrace it. Everything must come to an end at some point.”
    Mo Farah was speaking at the launch of the HUAWEI Watch GT 3 fitness smartwatch, which has personalised health and fitness features. It launches in the UK on November 10 but can be pre-ordered now.
    Mo Farah fails to make 10,000m qualifying time for Tokyo Olympics More

  • in

    Alex Quinonez dead at 32: Olympic sprinter shot and killed in ‘assassination’ in hometown of Guayaquil, Ecuador

    AN OLYMPIC sprinter was shot dead outside a shopping centre aged 32.Alex Quinonez was allegedly killed in the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador on Friday when he was attacked by an unknown killer.
    Alex Quinonez has been shot dead in his homeland of EcuadorCredit: AFP
    The sprinter competed against Usain Bolt at London 2012Credit: AP:Associated Press
    Quinonez was with his friend Jojairo Arcalla when the incident happened as police continue to investigate.
    Roberto Ibanez, president of the Guayas Sports Federation and pal of Quinonez, tweeted: “My heart is totally shattered, I can’t find words to describe the emptiness I feel.
    “I can not believe it, until when are we going to continue living so much evil and insecurity!
    “Rest in peace dear Alex, I will miss you all my life.”
    Ecuador’s Ministry of Sport called him ‘the greatest sprinter in the history of our country’.
    Quinonez raced in the 100m and 200m during his career.

    At London 2012, the Ecuadorian broke the national record with a 200m dash of 20.28 seconds then finished seventh in the final as Usain Bolt took gold.
    He claimed bronze at the 2019 World Championships in Qatar, his only major medal, and double gold at the 2012 Ibero-American Championships.
    The speedster also qualified to compete at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
    However, he was suspended from taking part after going AWOL and failing to show for a routine doping test.
    Quinonez holds the national record for 100m (10.09 seconds), 200m (19.87) and 400m (46.28).
    His tragic death came on the fourth day in a state of national emergency in Ecuador as president Guillermo Lasso tries to thwart the rise in crime with several violent deaths in recent weeks.
    More to follow…
    Quinonez won bronze in the 200m at the 2019 World Championships in QatarCredit: Getty
    He was with a friend outside a shopping centre when the shots were firedCredit: Getty More

  • in

    Paula Radcliffe wants future athletics bosses to listen to stars and engage with grassroots after CEO walkout

    PAULA RADCLIFFE believes UK Athletics can be fixed – but only if future bosses listen to the athletes.Track-and-field was rocked on Thursday night by the sudden departure of CEO Joanna Coates and performance director Sara Symington less than two years into the job.
    Paula Radcliffe wants the next boss of UK Athletics to listen to the present athletesCredit: Andrew Lloyd – The Sun
    Many stars were left angry and frustrated they found out via social media or newspaper websites rather than contacted directly or through their agents first.
    Though Mark Munro will take over as Interim CEO for six months, it has left a void at the top of the governing body and means Coates’s reforms for the next decade are in chaos.
    Radcliffe, former world record holder for the women’s marathon, told SunSport: “I was quite surprised that it happened like that overnight.
    “Those athletes shouldn’t be learning about the outcome through the media. They should be told in person first and that was a massive mistake.
    “I hope athletics can find people who love athletics, have a passion for athletics, and will stick by it and do the right thing.
    “It shouldn’t in my opinion just be a job – it should be a passion.

    Keely Hodgkinson won a 800m silver medal but Team GB failed to win a gold medal at the Tokyo OlympicsCredit: PA
    “It should be for someone who loves and understands athletics and support the athletes and cares about the athletes.
    “Is the sport fixable? Absolutely. It’s a wonderful sport. We have to work together. We have to stop pulling at each other.
    “My advice is get out there and listen to the athletes, coaches and parents. Go out and visit the sport at the grassroots.
    “If you aren’t working with them or not talking to proper elite athletes and grassroots athletes coming through, you’ve no chance moving forward in the future.
    “There has to be open dialogue, more trust and go back to basics. Bring all the great elements that we have in this country.
    “Our clubs system, our coaching system, our grassroots system is second to none.
    Time to get the people in charge of our sport who put the athletes (all levels), coaches and clubs first and have a genuine passion and love for Athletics. Let’s start working together, communicating properly and protecting & celebrating this wonderful, diverse and exciting sport— Paula Radcliffe (@paulajradcliffe) October 22, 2021

    “It’s really important at the top level that the top athletes feel like they are being listened to and supported.”
    Team GB won no gold medals in athletics at the Tokyo Olympics – the first time that has happened since the 1996 Atlanta Games.
    Radcliffe, who won three London Marathons in a stellar career, reckons the next boss of the sport doesn’t necessarily have to be an ex-athlete or multiple medallist.
    The 47-year-old, based in the south of France, would consider a possible advisory role if one was offered but nothing full-time or permanent.
    Radcliffe, speaking at the launch of the inaugural Indy Health Week, said: “It has to be somebody that loves and understands the sport and is passionate about it and doesn’t have their own agenda.
    “We saw some exciting results at Tokyo across the board.
    “There are a lot of positives. If we put the right person in charge, then UK Athletics is in a good place.”
    Today is the launch of the inaugural Indy Health Week, which is designed to help the nation live healthier lifestyles and to recognise the contribution independent health stores make to the well-being of communities. Visit for details. More

  • in

    Tearful Simone Biles admits she’s still scared to do gymnastics after pulling out of FIVE Olympic finals with ‘Twisties’

    CRYING Simone Biles is suffering from the Twisties and admits: I’m still scared to do gymnastics.The American superstar withdrew from five of her six finals at the Tokyo Olympics after a fluffed vault routine left her feeling disoriented.
    Simone Biles broke down in tears during an interview where she stated she is scared to do gymnasticsCredit: NBC
    The Twisties are like the yips for gymnasts and the 24-year-old has spoken about the mental pressure of competing on the world’s biggest stages.
    Biles broke down in tears in an emotional interview with the Today programme in the US.
    She said: “To do something that I’ve done forever and just not be able to do it because of everything I’ve gone through is really crazy because I love this sport so much.
    “It’s hard. I’m sorry. And I don’t think people understand the magnitude of what I go through.
    “But for so many years to go through everything that I’ve gone through having a front, I’m proud of myself.”
    Biles spoke in 2018 about being abused by USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, who is now serving a life sentence in jail.

    USA Gymnastics have been heavily criticised for covering up Nassar’s hideous crimes, which involved molesting hundreds of women and girls.
    Biles said: “Over the years, after suppressing so many emotions and putting up a front on a global scene, I think all of that came to light.
    “My body and my mind allowed me to suppress all of that stuff for so many years, for as long as it could take.
    American star Biles has won an astonishing 32 Olympic and World Championship medalsCredit: Reuters
    “And as soon as we stepped onto the Olympic scene, it just decided it couldn’t do it anymore and it cracked, and that’s what happens. 
    “And that’s why taking care of your mental well-being and mental health is so important, so that something like that doesn’t happen. 
    “And I’m grateful that it wasn’t somebody else, and it was me, because I know I’m strong enough and I can get back on my feet and I’m going to get back on my feet with the right help.”
    Simone Biles and gymnasts blast FBI for Nassar cover-up at Senate hearing More

  • in

    ‘He’s a legend’ – Olympic long-distance king Mo Farah would be welcomed back on the British Athletics team, says chief

    MO FARAH would be welcomed back on the British Athletics team for last one hurrah.Britain’s Olympic long-distance king is nearing the end of his career, having failed to qualify for the Tokyo Games this summer and suffered a foot stress fracture.
    Mo Farah would be welcome back on the British Athletics teamCredit: PA
    The Olympic legend has yet to confirm his plans for the 2022 seasonCredit: Reuters
    The 38-year-old has yet to confirm his plans for the 2022 season, which could see him race at the Great North Run or London Marathon in the autumn.
    Before that there are three major events on the track – the worlds, Birmingham Commonwealths and Europeans – where he could run for the last time in GB colours.
    British Athletics head coach Christian Malcolm said: “I’d welcome any athlete who is out there performing well.
    “Because people have been moved off the world class performance plan doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t want them to be part of the team.
    “You want that competition, appetite to be back in the team and performing for their country.
    “We spoke on WhatsApp a couple of months ago. 

    “I’m giving him a bit of space and time.
    “But I will be in contact with him just to find out what he wants to do.
    “Farah is a legend of our sport and deserves to make his decision in his own time.”
    Olympic hero Mo Farah helps fitness star Joe Wicks achieve speedy 5k run time More

  • in

    Team GB star CJ Ujah stripped of National Lottery funding over Tokyo silver medallist’s failed drug test

    CJ UJAH has been stripped of domestic athletics funding following his Olympics drugs violation.The sprinter is suspended from the sport after testing positive for banned substances at the Tokyo Games in August.
    Ujah has taken his case to the Court of Arbitration for SportCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    Ujah with his relay pals Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake in TokyoCredit: Getty
    The case has gone to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the GB team that won 4x100m relay silver behind Italy could be stripped of their medals.
    That would mean heartache for Ujah’s Tokyo team-mates Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake.
    Londoner Ujah, 27, was on Olympic Relays funding – between £21,000 and £28,000 – over the past 12 months.
    He insists he is not a cheat and denies any wrongdoing.
    And if he can prove his innocence in the CAS court then he could possibly request funds – which are provided through the National Lottery – for the 2022 season.
    Olympic head coach Christian Malcolm said: “It was a bit of shock when we found out about the test.

    “It’s very unfortunate, especially the hard work that the whole team had put into it. We’e still waiting to find out what the outcome of that will be.”
    British Athletics Performance Director Sara Symington added: “CJ is currently suspended from the sport so we were unable to consider him in this selection process. That was the rationale.”
    A group of 67 athletes have been offered membership to join the Olympic World Class Programme pool of cash.
    This includes Keely Hodgkinson, 19, who came from nowhere to win an Olympic 800m silver medal and the European indoors title.
    Scottish runner Andrew Butchart has been removed from Olympic Podium Potential funding of £10,000 to £16,000 despite finishing 11th in the 5,000m Olympic final.
    Athletics bosses say this was for ‘performance’ reasons not due to his embarrassing comments about allegedly faking Covid travel tests on a podcast. More

  • in

    Agnes Jebet Tirop dead at 25: Tokyo Olympic star and World medallist found stabbed to death at home in Kenya

    KENYA’S Tokyo Olympic star Agnes Tirop has been found dead with a stab wound in her abdomen.The 5,000m star, 25, was discovered at her house in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County earlier.
    Kenyan Olympic medallist Agnes Tirop has been found dead with stab wounds in her stomach
    The 25-year-old was discovered at her homeCredit: Getty
    Her passing comes just two months after she finished fourth at the Games.
    Her death has been confirmed by Barnaba Korir, the chairperson of Athletics Kenya in Nairobi Region.
    Tirop made history in the adizero Road To Records event in Germany in September.
    She slashed 28 seconds from the 19-year-old women’s record for 10km after clocking a staggering 30:01.
    Tirop sped away from compatriot Sheila Chepkirui to break the mark of 30:29 which had been set by Moroccan Asmae Leghzaoui in 2002.
    Afterwards she said: “I’m so happy to have broken the world record. I felt the pace was good. The course was very good, too.”

    Tirop became the second-youngest medallist at the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in the women’s race.
    She was a medallist at junior level at the World Cross Country and World Junior Championships and she was the junior champion at the African Cross Country Championships in 2014. 
    The long-distance star then won a bronze medal in the 10,000 metres event at the 2017 World Championships.
    Tirop represented her country at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo and was one of the medal favourites.
    She eventually finished fourth in the 5,000m women’s finals after clocking 14:39.62.
    Dutch star Sifan Hassan won gold, with Kenya’s Hellen Obiri settling for silver and Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay pipping Tirop to bronze by less than a second.
    Award-Winning Sports Journalist Usher Komugisha, voted in Top 100 Most Influential Young Africans, tweeted: “HEARTBREAKING! Kenyan athlete Agnes Jebet “Tirop, who represented Kenya at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the 5000m, has been found dead in her house with stab wounds to her abdomen. 
    “She was just 10 days away from her 26th birthday. Rest in peace Queen!”
    Another devastated fan wrote: “Heartbreaking to lose such an amazing talent in Athletics under weird circumstances. Kenya has lost big! Rest well 2015 World Cross Country Champion Agnes Tirop.”
    Tirop (right) won a bronze in the 10,000 metres event at the 2017 World ChampionshipsCredit: Getty
    The star narrowly missed out on a bronze for Kenya at the Tokyo GamesCredit: Getty
    Team GB set to be stripped of Tokyo 2020 4x100m medal after CJ Ujah’s positive B sample drug test is confirmed More

  • in

    London Marathon live tracker app 2021: Follow your friends and family as they run in capital TODAY

    THE London Marathon is back as thousands prepare to take to the streets on Sunday.And now, thanks to an app developed by organisers Virgin, you can track the progress of loved ones throughout the 26.2 mile race.
    It’s a chaotic scene around London when the Marathon starts – but you can keep up with how your loved ones are doing with the special appCredit: Rex Features
    How can I track runners at the 2021 London Marathon?
    The Virgin Money London Marathon app allows users to track specific runners and see the leaderboard for the whole race.
    It boasts a variety of exciting features and lets you find and track participants along the race route, helping you to keep up with split times, finishing positions and results throughout the day.
    You can see their progress at every 5k split and track their pace. The app will also predict what time your runner will reach the next 5k checkpoint based on their current pace.
    The app is available on iOS and Android.
    The London Marathon app can tell participants’ split times and also their positionCredit: Rex Features
    What TV channel is the London Marathon on?
    The BBC will be showing coverage of the London Marathon throughout the day.
    It will be on BBC1, BBC Sport Online and red button with different cameras available.
    The red button will give commentary on the elite races and then will offer finish line coverage.
    What time does the race start?
    The 2021 London Marathon will take place TODAY, October 3.
    The races take place at:

    9.05am – Elite Wheelchair Races
    9.10am – World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup ambulant races
    9.25am – The Elite Women’s Race
    10.10am – The Elite Men’s Race, British Athletics and England Athletics Marathon Championships and Mass Race

    Who are the favourites?
    Eliud Kipchoge will not be at the race this year after focusing all his attention on winning gold at the Toyko Olympics.
    And Sir Mo Farah is also out of the event due to injury.
    Birhanu Legese is therefore favourite for the men’s race, while Bridget Kosegei is expected to take the women’s event. More