After disappointment in Manchester, what next for Sir Mo Farah?

After disappointment in Manchester, what next for Sir Mo Farah?

Sir Mo Farah will not defend his 10,000 metres Olympic title in Tokyo after missing the qualifying time at the British Championships in Manchester.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the talking points after his failure to reach Tokyo.

Will he retire?

2021 Muller British Athletics 10,000m Championships and the European 10,000m Cup – Birmingham
Farah has a decision to make on his future. (Martin Rickett/PA)

The 38-year-old insisted earlier this month he was not considering quitting after failing to qualify at the 10,000m trials in Birmingham. But this is a huge blow after he returned to the track with the goal of defending his 10,000m title. He is the most successful British track athlete in the modern era and now faces a massive decision on his future, with time against him.

Can he return to the marathon?

Virgin Money London Marathon – St James’ Park
Mo Farah finished third at the London Marathon in 2018 (Adam Davy/PA)

He could opt to return to the road, where he has had mixed success since moving to the marathon in 2017. Farah won the Chicago Marathon in a new European record in 2018 having come third at the London race earlier that year. He has previously said he was putting his marathon focus on hold but it remains to be seen what he decides.

Can Team GB fill his gap?

Rio Olympic Games 2016 – Day Sixteen
Mo Farah is no stranger to medals (Mike Egerton/PA)

A fit Farah would have been a medal contender in Tokyo, even if he does not have the invincible aura around him any more. While a title defence would have been difficult, Team GB would have looked at him to aid their medal target. The light of one of the stars of 2012 and 2016 is fading and he will leave a big gap in the squad.

What will his legacy be?

Muller Grand Prix – Alexandra Stadium
Mo Farah is one of Britain’s greats (David Davies/PA)

Farah’s double double – the defence of his 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic titles in 2016 – will stand the test of time. He has captured the imagination of the wider public, not just athletics fans, and traversed the line between athlete and celebrity, mainly thanks to his starring role at London 2012. Farah is one of the most recognised faces in sport and will go down as one of the British greats.