(UKPA) – Mo Farah has admitted he “did not have a clue” about the athlete who pipped him to World Championship glory in the 10,000 metres in Daegu.
The 28-year-old had glory in his sights when he hit the front with 650m to go and kicked for home at the bell, opening up a seemingly decisive gap over Ethiopia’s Ibrahim Jeilan. However, Jeilan refused to throw in the towel and gradually reduced his deficit, eventually overhauling Farah around 35m from the line to win in 27 minutes 13.81 seconds.
“I didn’t have a clue about the guy,” Farah said. “I haven’t seen him all year so I didn’t know what he was capable of. With 800 metres to go I thought I was going to be battling with (Sileshi) Sihine and (Zersenay) Tadese, people I always see on the circuit.”
He added: “So I thought all right, I’m going go to go at 500 metres to go and gradually wind it up and then go as hard as I can to try to hold the gap.
“To tell you the truth, at 300 metres to go I thought I had the race. I looked up at the screen, saw that there was enough of a gap there and just thought ‘Hold it, hold it’.
“But then with 100 metres to go I saw the guy coming on my shoulder and just thought ‘Wow’. I tried to relax but with 50 metres to go he was right on my shoulder. I told myself not to panic and just relax but my legs just didn’t have it. There was nothing there.”
No male British athlete had previously won a medal over 10,000m in championship history, while the only medal won over 5,000m was a bronze by Jack Buckner in 1987.
“As an athlete it’s definitely going to motivate me,” Farah added. “I’m going to be thinking that I’ve got a silver here and I’ve got to work even harder.”
Farah now faces a decision over whether to compete in the 5,000m later this week, with the heats on Thursday and the final on Sunday.
“I’ve got a few blisters so I just need to see the medical team, get in an ice bath and eat well,” added Farah, who won the double in the European Championships in Barcelona last year. “I would like to run but it’s not my decision. It’s up to my coach. I will make the final decision in a couple of days’ time.”