• Mon
  • Dec 29, 2014
  • Updated: 6:09am
SportOther Sport

Withdrawal of Mo Farah huge blow for Commonwealth Games

England track star pulls out over fitness concerns after recent illness

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 July, 2014, 12:37am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 July, 2014, 12:37am

The Commonwealth Games were dealt a huge blow on Thursday when England's double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah said he was withdrawing due to fitness concerns.

Farah, alongside Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt, is one of the most recognisable faces of track and field, and his absence will be sorely missed.

"There's no question that we're disappointed," admitted David Grevemberg, the chief executive of Glasgow 2014.

I really wanted to add the Commonwealth titles to my Olympic and World Championships, but the event is coming a few weeks too soon for me as my body is telling me it's not ready to race yet
Track star Mo Farah

"Certainly there'll be some disappointed people, but there's plenty of great athletes that are coming and are here."

Farah, the 5,000 and 10,000 metres Olympic and world champion, was recently laid low by illness and decided to bypass the Games and work on his fitness ahead of next month's European Championships in Zurich.

"I have taken the tough decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games," Farah, 31, said in a statement released by Team England.

"I really wanted to add the Commonwealth titles to my Olympic and World Championships, but the event is coming a few weeks too soon for me as my body is telling me it's not ready to race yet. Best wishes to my fellow athletes in Glasgow."

Farah had been preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Font Romeu in southern France and he said he would remain there in the build-up to the European Championships, which begin on August 12.

"The sickness I had two weeks ago was a big setback for me."

England's Jodie Stimpson won the opening gold of the Commonwealth Games in the women's triathlon. Stimpson, a silver medal winner in last year's World Triathlon Series, sprinted clear with 400 metres remaining of the 10km run to win a thrilling race that started with a 1.5km swim and a 40km cycle around Strathclyde Loch.

Canada's Kirsten Sweetland claimed silver, with England's Vicky Holland taking bronze in warm, sunny conditions.

"I was nervous about the swim but I had an awesome swim actually," said Stimpson. "The race was brutal and the bike was definitely a challenge."

England's Alistair Brownlee won the men's triathlon to retain family bragging rights.

The Olympic and European champion finished in one hour 48 minutes and 50 seconds, 11 seconds ahead of younger brother Jonathan, the bronze medallist from the London Olympic Games in 2012. South African Richard Murray took bronze.

Meanwhile, Games shooting gold medallist Nur Ayuni Farhana Abdul Halim of Malaysia was given a late reprieve to compete after her missing competition jacket was found at Kuala Lumpur airport and sent to her in Scotland.

Ayuni was scratched from the 10-metre air rifle and 50m rifle prone events after the garment failed to arrive before Monday's registration.

Agence France-Presse, Reuters

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