London, Aug 22 (IANS) British Athletics’ performance director Neil Black is confident that reigning Olympic champion Mo Farah will be successful in his bid to win two gold medals at the ongoing World Championships in Beijing.
Farah, who emerged champion in the 5,000 metre and 10,000m events at the 2012 London Olympics, won both titles at the World Championships in Moscow in 2013.
The 32-year-old is now attempting to win an unprecedented 5,000m and 10,000m double at consecutive World Championships in Beijing.
“He’s in really good shape and he’s really fast. Clearly, he’s gained additional motivation from some of the challenges and he’s turned a negative into a positive. That’s how he’s using it,” Black was quoted as saying by The Independent.
“He’s as confident as I’ve ever seen him before. He’s doing things in training that would suggest we should be really confident and he has an amazing ability to focus on the task in hand,” he added.
“He’s very determined to come here and win. He’s not interested in anything else.”
Farah’s coach Alberto Salazar has been accused of violating a series of doping rules and is under investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Black however, believes that the controversy had only served to make Farah more determined in the run up to the event in the Chinese capital.
“It has been a distraction. We could have all done without it. But I honestly believe we dealt with it brilliantly, albeit that Mo is the person who’s dealt with it the best.
“He has consistently done things over the last few months that have demonstrated he’s in really good shape. Clearly he’s gained additional motivation from some of the challenges, and he’s turned a negative into a positive,” Black asserted.
Black also felt that Farah’s success will play a major role in lifting the morale of the entire British squad.
“It’s massive. I think if he doesn’t win, other athletes will go ‘Bloody hell, if Mo can’t even win, what the hell chance have we got?’ Thankfully he’s the type of personality that he doesn’t find that a burden. But early success is vital to driving the momentum which we really need. And it’s amazing how people spin off each other,” he said.
While Black claimed that he was confident that Britain would do well in Beijing, he refused to set a medal target for the event.
“I’m not personally motivated, in any shape or form, by a numerical target in terms of medals. That’s the honest answer,” he remarked.
“I’ve heard and seen people get shat on as a result of it, so I thought, ‘I don’t get anything from it, so I don’t want to set myself up to be beaten up. So why do it?’ We agree a target range with UK Sport but we genuinely don’t discuss that.”