• London Marathon

Farah rivals raise concerns after collapse

ESPN staff
April 10, 2014
Haile Gebrselassie excited for London marathon

Mo Farah has been questioned by his rivals after deciding to run the London Marathon less than a month after collapsing at the end of a race in New York.

The Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion needed treatment following the New York Half Marathon on March 16 and was taken away in a wheelchair.

Farah will make his full marathon debut on Sunday, having run half of last year's event.

The man who beat Farah to win in New York, Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai, said: "To handle sickness is not easy - perhaps I would relax and prepare for another time."

Farah, 31, is hoping to break Steve Jones' British record of two hours, seven minutes and 13 seconds, which has stood for 29 years.

However Olympic and world marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich, of Uganda, has raised concerns that Farah is trying too hard to please his fans and should focus on shorter distances.

He said: "I don't see why he's running the marathon. He's still good on the track, still running a mile in under three minutes 50 seconds.

"Maybe the problem is that the fans are the ones pushing him."

Emmanuel Mutai, the London Marathon record holder who won in 2011, believes Farah might have been better off making his full marathon debut in a less high-profile race.

"Sometimes it's good to start with a small race - not so fast or with such a strong field," he said.

"You win then and then you have an idea of how the marathon is when you come to a big race like this.

"If he doesn't perform here, that might affect him psychologically - and whatever he has achieved on that day will not be good because maybe he was expecting a lot, and that can be demoralising."

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