Fall costly as Farah finishes second in New York

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah admitted he had been “seeing stars” before collapsing shortly after crossing the finishing line in an incident-packed New York City half-marathon on Sunday.
After collapsing at the finish line, Mo Farah of Great Britain is brought to his feet during the 2014 NYC Half marathon.After collapsing at the finish line, Mo Farah of Great Britain is brought to his feet during the 2014 NYC Half marathon.
After collapsing at the finish line, Mo Farah of Great Britain is brought to his feet during the 2014 NYC Half marathon.

Farah recovered from a painful fall in the 28th minute of the race to finish second to Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai, but then passed out in the finishing area before being taken away in a wheelchair.

“I do remember sort of passing out,” said Farah. “I tried so hard in the race, taking a fall and then going through. But I’m all right. It’s fine. It’s not a big deal.”

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The 30-year-old was in the leading pack of eight athletes when he was sent crashing to the tarmac after seemingly being accidentally tripped from behind.

He quickly got back to his feet and resumed running, but Mutai took full advantage of the 
incident to accelerate and pull clear with compatriot Stephen Sambu.

“I would have done exactly the same thing if I was him in the race,” admitted Farah.

Mutai, who clocked the fastest marathon time in history in Boston in 2011 and has six sub-60 minute half-marathon times to his credit, then eased away from Sambu on 42nd Street and went on to win in 60 minutes 50 seconds.

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Farah slowly reeled in Sambu and eventually edged ahead with 800 metres to go before holding off the 25-year-old on the line to clock 61mins 7secs, just outside his British record of 60:59.

A SUPERB display by Leeds City gave them the Northern 12 Stage Road Relay title at Heaton Park, Manchester, on Saturday winning by a massive margin of over three minutes from Stockport.

The race is run over alternating long and short stages and Leeds were led off by James Walsh who finished third on the highly competitive opening stage, a long one. His time of 27:34 was easily the best of the Leeds squad and marked a welcome return to form by international Walsh whose cross country season has been below par.

James Smith (16:02) dropped a couple of places before Carl Smith (28:06) took Leeds into second place.

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Dominic Easter (15:50) turned a 10 second deficit into a 17 second lead on the fourth stage and from then Leeds were never headed.

Simon Deakin (28:37) and Nick Hooker (15:13) took Leeds to half way with a lead of almost a minute and a half and, with some big guns still to come, the race was as good as over.

Scottish international Derek Hawkins (28:05) and newcomer Jason Cherriman (15:37) continued in the lead and James Wilkinson (27:50) and Mike Burrett (15:35) put the issue beyond doubt. Alan Buckley (28:37) handed over to Steve Lisgo who, in splendid isolation, ran 15:06, the fastest time for the anchor leg.

A fine performance gave Wakefield bronze medals behind Leigh and Stockport in the women’s six stage relay.

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From a lowly 30th on the opening stage, Wakefield moved through relentlessly.

Jenny Walsh, back from injury in her first race for almost a year, gained 10 places on stage three with her time of 17:23 putting the Wakefield squad in third place.

Even faster was July Briscoe (16:57) who picked up a place on the last leg after her team had slipped outside the first three on the penultimate stage.

MEDALS were few and far between for Yorkshire athletes at the English Schools Cross Country Championships at Castle Donington on Saturday.

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However, North Yorkshire did well to finish runners up in the Intermediate boys race led home by Jay Ferns in 10th place whilst West Yorkshire just missed out in the senior and intermediate girls races finishing fourth in both.

There was a fine run by West Yorkshire’s James Hall who was fifth in the senior boys race.