Mo Farah, the world's most celebrated marathon runner, will not defend his title at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 after failing to qualify for the games.
The Olympic champion missed out on qualifying time at an invitational 10,000-metre race at the British athletics championships. Mo Farah needed to finish under 27m 28s to grab a berth at the Tokyo Olympics, but could only clock 27m 47.04s.
Reacting to the disappointment, the 38-year-old admitted that he ran out of lungs in the end.
"You go out there and give it all and that's all you have. It's quite windy. I tried to push and push and I ran my lungs out," Mo Farah said.
The British athletics championship was arranged soon after Mo Farah failed to qualify in the Birmingham event. He finished second, taking 27m 50.54s, and blamed an ankle injury.
Tokyo will certainly miss one of its most-decorated Olympians.
Mo Farah's performance in Olympics
Mo returned emptyhanded in his first ever Olympic competition during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was knocked out before the finals of the 5000 meter event.
Despite a disastrous performance in the Olympics, Mo Farah's stock went up in the coming years. He won a handful of events leading up to the London Olympics in 2012. He continued his brilliant run winning dual gold medals at the London Olympics. He clocked 13:41:66 to finish the 5000 meter event, while he took 27:30:42 to finish the 10000 meter competition.
At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, Mo Farah defended his gold medals in the 5,000-metre and 10,000-metre events. As a result, he became only the second man (after Finland’s Lasse Virén) to win both races in two consecutive Olympics.
Who can be the next Mo Farah?
Grant Fisher, the 24-year-old marathoner from the USA, is tipped to replicate Mo Farah's tremendous success on the marathon circuit.
Fisher, who represented the United States at the 2014 World Junior Championships in Athletics in the 1500-meter race, was named Gatorade Player of the Year for the cross country for the 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 seasons.
Grant Fisher also became the seventh high school runner to run a mile in under four minutes. He also won the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field 5000 meter championship, where he clocked 14:35.60.
Fisher qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by finishing second in the men’s 10,000 meters at the U.S. Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore. He took 27:54.29 to finish behind Bowerman Track Club teammate Woody Kincaid.
Reacting to his qualification for the first time, Grant Fisher said:
“I’ve dreamed about this moment, but even now it doesn’t feel real,” he said in a story by Runner’s World. “I don’t even know how to describe it, but I’m just so happy," he added.