runABC Scotland News

3 Aug

Pressure, What Pressure?

Mo Farah

If Bradley Wiggins' victory in Wednesday's time trial underlined his superiority after becoming the first Brit to win the Tour de France, it also showed an athlete that excelled under the pressure of performing in front of an expectant and vociferous home-crowd. Now it's Mo Farah's turn.

Wiggins' feat resulted in him becoming the most prolific British Olympian of all time, victory for Farah in the men's 10,000m would represent the first time a UK runner has won gold in the event. Leading up to the race, Farah performed consistently, dominating the 5,000m at the London Grand Prix and retaining his title at the European Athletics Championships over the same distance.

Farah's form for this event is more difficult to quantify, however, with the runner not racing over 10,000m on the track this year. In last year's World Championships, he lost to Ethiopia's Ibrahim Jeilan in agonising fashion, and, after missing out on a medal at the World Indoor Championships in March, Farah admitted to losing his 'air of invincibility'.

The UK athlete won't be the only member of the field looking to make history on Saturday evening, as victory for Kenenisa Bekele would make him the first man to win three consecutive titles over 10,000m. As it stands, Bekele is still the fastest on paper in the field, holding the world record of 26:17:53. Even though his performances have been temperamental over the previous years - including a DNF in Daegu - the Ethiopian recorded a 27:02:59 in Birmingham in June. As inconsistent as his form may be, Bekele, like Farah, will be spurred on by the prospect of inscribing his name in the record books.

Other strong contenders out to spoil the Team GB party look likely to be Wilson Kiprop and Moses Masai. Kiprop, 25, actually boasts the strongest time over 10,000m this year, with the Kenyan runner recording a 27:01:98 in June's Prefontaine Classic. Masai, meanwhile, holds a 26:49:20 PB over the distance.

Even though he admitting to losing his aura of invincibility, Mo Farah recently roused the British public by becoming the first person to emerge victorious from hit TV show, The Cube. The presenter, Philip Schofield, said the winning competitor would need to display: 'speed, agility and calm under pressure'. These attributes, as Bradley Wiggins and thousands of enthralled TV viewers will no doubt testify, will surely serve him well over the 10,000m.