Sir Mo Farah faces Olympic qualifying test as rival throws down gauntlet

Sir Mo Farah has been warned his 10-year unbeaten record over 10,000 metres is under grave threat tonight.

Farah’s bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics is widely considered a done deal given he was last beaten over the distance in 2011 – and took gold at the last two Games in London and Rio.

But Marc Scott is the British number one this year and believes he can knock the Knight Strider off his perch when the gun sounds in Birmingham.

“I know what I’ve been doing in training and in the races I’ve been doing,” said the US-based 27-year-old. “I’m not going in feeling any fear. I’m going to do everything I can to beat him.”

Scott has already run inside the Olympic qualifying time of 27 mins 20 secs that Farah needs, in addition to a top-two finish, to guarantee his Tokyo spot.

And he insists he will not be fazed by taking on the 10-time global championship winner over 25 laps.

Farah with his two Rio Olympic gold medals

“When Mo’s name is thrown around everyone just assumes the great and what he has been,” said Scott. “This weekend really will show the true colours of what he can do at his age, 38.

“I don’t think there’s going to be the big aura about him there once was. It’s what can he do now at his age.

“Not to take away anything from him and what he’s done in the past but I think if there’s a time for somebody to beat him it’s going to be pretty soon.”

Farah savours one of his many major championship glory moments
Farah savours one of his many major championship glory moments

Since finishing second at the 2011 Worlds in Daegu, Farah has been untouchable – winning three world titles, two Olympics and a European crown over 10,000m.

But his personal best was 10 years ago, he has not raced the distance for four years and only changed his training focus from marathons back to the track nine months ago.

“It would be a big feather in my cap if I can beat him,” said Scott. “I think it would make some major headlines in Olympic year.”

The Yorkshireman is fired up to prove a point having had his 27:10.41 pb, set in February, put down to shoe technology by former British star Tim Hutchings.

Eilish McColgan winning European 5000m silver in 2018
Eilish McColgan winning European 5000m silver in 2018

“I didn’t understand the need to degrade someone a bit because of shoes rather than focus on the time they had run,” said Scott. “Maybe it’s a bit of jealousy about what they didn’t accomplish in the past.

“Hopefully, this weekend it’s about the times and not the shoes.”

Eilish McColgan leads the women’s entries, aiming to make the team for Tokyo 30 years after her mum Liz won the world 10,000m title in the same city.

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