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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Carlisle athlete Tom Farrell on verge of London 2012 Olympics place

Carlisle runner Tom Farrell is on the verge of making the London 2012 Olympics after becoming only the third Brit to achieve the 5,000m qualifying time.

Tom Farrell photo
Tom Farrell

Farrell smashed his personal best by 11 seconds to clock 13m 15.31s – five seconds inside the Olympic A qualifying standard – to finish fifth at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Stanford, California.

His time was the 10th fastest in British athletics history and shattered the GB Under-23 record held by Nat Muir for more than 30 years.

His coach at Oklahoma State University, where the 21-year-old is on a scholarship, Dave Smith said: “He’s a real legitimate hope for the British team this year.”

Farrell added: “It wasn’t until the last 20m when I looked at the clock and thought ‘wow, I’ve done it’. I’m just really happy. I wasn’t really focusing on the Olympics, but I love the situation I’ve got now. This is a huge bonus.

“It was in the back of my mind but I didn’t want to speak too much about it and be too pressured in the race and run awfully.”

Farrell, from Scotby, will return to Carlisle on May 17 and train with his club Border Harriers at the city's Sheepmount Stadium until the GB Olympic Trials on June 24 in Birmingham.

Watch the Payton Jordan Invitational race. Article continues below...


There are three spaces available in the 5,000m.

Only Farrell, world champion Mo Farah, and Barrow’s European silver medallist Chris Thompson – who beat Farrell by just one tenth of a second in California – have so far reached the qualifying standard. If Farrell finishes in the top two in the trials he is guaranteed an Olympic place.

He said: “It’s awesome. I just need to take a bit of a break, regroup and then start some hard training again. I just need to go to these trials and have fun and enjoy it. It’s just another race.”

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