Sport

UK Athletics defends decision to fund Farah

Although it is unlikely that world class marathoner Mo Farah will run for Britain again, UK Athletics have nevertheless decided to financially support the runner by continuing to fund his Performance Programme.

This critically acclaimed, famous programme, UK Sport’s National Lottery funded initiative, included a total of 112 athletes across Olympic Podium, Paralympic Podium Potential and Olympic Relay Categories. However, there is some concern whether UK Athletics’ are making the right decision due to the 34 year old’s high training and medical costs.

Whilst Farah has succeeded in his funding grant, 24 other British athletes have lost their lottery money. A list of eminent names in the athletic sector includes world championship medallists Tiffany Porter and Shara Proctor, who have both struggled this year in the 100m hurdles and long jump events, and the sprinters Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and James Ellington.

Whilst these big names on the list miss out, UK Athletics’ Performance Director, Neil Black affirms his decision to maintain the performance funding: “Mo is very positive about Tokyo. He has always said he loves competing for his country and is passionate about winning medals. And as we all know he is pretty good at both of those.” This positive statement is supported by claims that Farah is able to run much faster than his marathon personal best of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 21 seconds.

Black has continued to show his support for the formidable runner and stated: “There’s absolutely no doubt in our minds that he can be competitive in a championship race.” On the premise that Farah can perform at a competitive and professional level, Black dismissed any allegations that UK Athletics should not be paying for Farah’s training, despite the knowledge that he has not tied himself to running for Britain in the following year’s European Championships or the subsequent 2019 World Championships.

Taking into consideration that Farah will be 38 years of age when the Olympics takes place in the next four years, Black said: “Mo doesn’t have an expectation that British Athletics or UK Sport should pay for everything he does. He is a realist. He understands the world. He is grateful for support and is enthusiastic to compete”.

Whilst there were some protestations that Farah’s previous coach, Alberto Salazar will remain as a hidden puppet manipulator, pulling the strings behind the scenes, Black maintained that this was “100% not the case” and that he had a “good relationship” with his new coach Gary Lough. Farah will appear on podium-level funding alongside the young marathon runner, Callum Hawkins, who finished fourth at the recent world championships in London.

It is nevertheless not surprising that the four-time Olympic Games gold medallist and six-time world champion still remains on top of his game, despite narrowly missing a triple-double of World Championship 5,000 and 10,000m titles. Despite this small set back, British Athletics has kept Farah on its list of Podium athletes, amongst other world renowned sporting contestants.

21/11/2017

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bethpapworth



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