Farah: To miss out on Spoty top 3 was weird

Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah found it "weird" that he again missed out on a top-three finish in the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year (Spoty) award.
Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah found it "weird" that he again missed out on a top-three finish in the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year (Spoty) award.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Mo Farah has admitted that he found it "weird" that he again missed out on a top-three finish in the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year (Spoty) award last month, despite his double gold-medal triumph at the Rio Olympics.

Speaking publicly for the first time since finishing fourth in the annual award, Farah made it clear on Friday that he had hoped to be on the podium.

"It was a bit weird," he said. "I just thought I might have been in top three. I don't know if I would have won it but it is not something in my control."

When asked whether he wondered why he was not more popular, given his four Olympic and five World Championship gold medals on the track, Farah replied: "Yeah, you do think a little bit like, 'What can you do?'

"But racing and winning medals for my country is what drives me and no one can take away what I have achieved. That means more than anything else, along with putting my GB vest on."

Farah also expressed his appreciation to the triathlete Alistair Brownlee, who finished second behind Andy Murray in the BBC award, for saying that he was staggered that Farah had finished in the top three of Spoty only once, in 2011.

"Alistair is an amazing athlete - and I have a lot of respect for him to come out and say what he needed to say," Farah said. "If I had a vote, I would have voted for him."

Speaking before competing in the Great Edinburgh XCountry in Holyrood Park yesterday, Farah also expressed his disdain that one of his main rivals, the European cross-country champion Aras Kaya, recently changed nationalities from Kenya to Turkey.

"I don't agree when you have been competing for one country and you decide to switch," he said.

"When you represent your country, you have to represent a country that you love and you have been there for a long time. That is your country, that is you."

Another Kenyan, the European cross-country silver medallist Polat Kemboi Arikan, also switched to compete for Turkey in 2011.

"It's a different thing if you have been there for seven, eight years, that's fine," Farah said.

"But to just switch overnight, it makes athletics look poor."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 08, 2017, with the headline 'Farah: To miss out on Spoty top 3 was weird'. Print Edition | Subscribe