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Mo Farah sorry for overshadowing London Marathon but insists 'I told the truth'; Farah only fifth as Eliud Kipchoge smashes course record to win fourth title and bring classy end to a controversial marathon week.

Byline: Alex Spink

Mo Farah apologised for stealing the limelight away from the London Marathon - but insisted he had told only the truth.

Eliud Kipchoge put on the greatest show in race history to win his fourth title and leave the Briton more than three minutes behind him in fifth place.

But the brilliant Kenyan's achievement was overshadowed by the continuing row between Farah and fellow athletics legend Haile Gebrselassie.

"What I said is the truth," said Farah, who could not live with the

blistering pace set by Kipchoge in winning in two hours two minutes 37 seconds.

"But at the same time it is all about the London Marathon and I didn't mean to take any limelight away from the sport or anything like that."

Mo Farah out to end turbulent week with another fight in London Marathon

Farah's coach Gary Lough blasted the "mistruths, exaggerations and slurs" which have come out of Ethiopia since his athlete complained publicly of having possessions stolen from his room in a hotel owned by Gebrselassie.

"There was definitely a robbery. It was an inside job," said Lough, Paula Radcliffe's husband. "We've not been anything apart from honest from the start."

Perhaps, but as a way of preparing for a race Farah has set his heart on, it was so far from ideal as to beg the question why he would pick a fight just four days before taking to the start line.

Brendan Foster says Mo Farah will take serious claims against him in his stride

"This was something that was bothering Mo so he had to get it off his chest," countered Lough. "If he hadn't said anything it would still have been inside him. He would have been more distracted and it's not good for stuff to fester."

Farah had been accused by Gebrselassie of "punching and kicking" a husband and wife whilst staying in one of his hotels in Ethiopia - then not paying his bill.

Gebrselassie further alleged that the four-time Olympic champion had held a grudge against him since Jama Aden, a coach linked to a major doping investigation whom the Ethiopian claimed was involved in Farah's training, was refused entry to his hotel.

Mo Farah accused of 'punching and kicking' husband and wife by Haile Gebrselassie

"Mo Farah's got nothing to do with Jama Aden," raged Lough. "Someone has tried to slur him and come out with a lot of unfounded nonsense.

"I spend a lot of time with this guy day in day out and what you're trying to portray is not the person I see."

Farah insists he has proof that the Aden link is untrue and also that he could not settle his bill as all his cash had been stolen and the hotel credit card machine did not work.

Mo Farah launches astonishing attack on Haile Gebrselassie over hotel theft

Still, how he thought he could repeat his Chicago Marathon-winning performance of six months ago against such a turbulent backdrop is anyone's guess.

He clung to Kipchoge's coat tails for half the race but then the world record holder removed the hand brake and was gone, carving 28 seconds off the course record.

"Kipchoge's time was incredible," said Farah, who clocked 2:05:39 and then hinted he would return to the track at the London Anniversary Games in July. "I am definitely disappointed. But he is a very special athlete."

Mo Farah confesses he is "addicted" to running - and sets incredible new target

A year after collapsing when leading the Commonwealth Games marathon, Callum Hawkins was second Brit home in 10th place - the same position filled by Charlotte Purdue in the women's race.

Purdue, 27, clocked the third fastest time (2:25:38) ever by a British woman as she followed in Kenyan winner Brigid Kosgei (2:18:20).

But there was disappointment for eight-time wheelchair winner David Weir, who trailed in fifth, four months after being involved in a car crash, behind Daniel Romanchuk.

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Credit: Getty Images

Farah had to settle for fifth place at end of a turbulent week

Credit: REUTERS

Kipchoge pictured with spoils of his fourth victory - and Prince Harry

Credit: Getty Images

Farah and Kipchoge in early stages of fastest ever London Marathon

Credit: PA

Kipchoge (left) easily won his head-to-head with Farah

Credit: NurPhoto via Getty Images

More than 42,000 runners took part in the 2019 race

Credit: Getty

Charlotte Purdue clocked third fastest time ever by a British female
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport,Other Sports,Athletics
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Apr 29, 2019
Words:750
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