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Mo Farah plays down health concerns after collapsing at New York City Half Marathon

The Somali-born star left the venue in a wheelchair following the incident.

After collapsing at the finish line, Mo Farah of Great Britain is tended to by his wife Tania, top centre right, and others.
After collapsing at the finish line, Mo Farah of Great Britain is tended to by his wife Tania, top centre right, and others.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

BRITAIN’S DOUBLE OLYMPIC and world 10,000m and 5,000m champion Mo Farah insisted Sunday his fall and frightening collapse after the New York City Half Marathon was “no big deal”.

The Somali-born star took a hard fall some five miles into the race. He made a gritty recovery to finish second behind Geoffrey Mutai, who won in 1hr 00min 50sec.

Farah collapsed after the finish line and left in a wheelchair.

He made it to the post-race press conference, however, and said he felt good, if a little cloudy on just what happened.

“I don’t remember passing out, but I think it was, just I tried so hard in the race, obviously, taking a fall and then going through. I’m all right. It’s fine. It’s no big deal,” he said.

It wasn’t immediately clear what Farah’s injuries were, but he said that after the fall he was “seeing stars”. He wasn’t sure what caused the fall.

“I just remember falling down and hit the ground quite hard,” he said. “At that point, I just wanted to get back up and get behind — get with the group. I did, but it was in the last seconds.

“It did take quite a lot out of me. And then the last four miles, I struggled a bit. I was just pretty much seeing stars… everything was kind of blurred to me. I just wanted to keep going. I didn’t want to stop and drop.”

After the fall, Farah didn’t threaten Mutai, who powered ahead chased by fellow Kenyan Stephen Sambu.

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In a remarkable rally, Farah caught Sambu with about a mile left to take second place in 1:01.07.

Farah, only the second male athlete to achieve the distance double in the Olympics and world championships, had planned to use the half marathon as a gauge of his fitness for the London Marathon. He said he didn’t expect anything to change his remaining preparations for the April 13 race in the British capital.

“You’ve got to deal with it,” Farah said. “Nothing changes. Training’s been going pretty well. It would have been nice to come out here and win the race, but Mutai is a strong athlete.

“I guess I just continue training and not too long to go to London now.”

- © AFP, 2014

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