Farah’s award flop mystifies fellow Olympic heroes

Mo Farah
Updated 21 December 2016

Farah’s award flop mystifies fellow Olympic heroes

LONDON: Olympic gold medalists Alistair Brownlee and Nick Skelton expressed their surprise British athletics legend Mo Farah was again snubbed by the public for the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
Brownlee, who retained his Olympic title in Rio and also gained widespread respect for helping his ailing younger brother Jonny across the line in a triathlon in Mexico this year, finished runner-up to Andy Murray in the poll with Skelton, who won showjumping gold at the venerable age of 58, in third.
For Murray — who garnered almost 250,000 votes over double the total of Brownlee — it was a historic third BBC award.
Farah — despite emulating Finnish icon Lasse Viren (1972/76) as the only athlete to do the Olympic distance double twice (5000/10000 metres) — finished way behind in terms of the popular vote in fourth.
Skelton — whose sport gets barely any mainstream coverage apart from the Olympics — received just over 109,000 votes with the much higher profile Farah getting only 54,476.
Both Brownlee and Skelton said they would have voted for him with the former saying Farah's personal story was remarkable being brought to Britain from war-torn Somalia as a young child.
“I’m not sure why that is that he hasn’t made the top three,” said Brownlee.
“Maybe some people don’t see him as British. It’s really sad because for me he is the perfect British story.”
“It’s what we should be about: a person who comes to Britain as a young man, as a refugee, and an ex-school teacher identifies something that he’s brilliant at and he represents Britain as the best in the world.”
“I think that’s a fantastic British story. I would have voted for Mo.”
Farah’s best finish is third in the 2011 poll. He has filled fourth spot on two other occasions — including 2012 when he lit up the track in London to secure his first Olympic double — and sixth in 2015.


Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince organizes flights to carry Al-Hilal fans to Japan for Champions League final

Updated 14 min 27 sec ago

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince organizes flights to carry Al-Hilal fans to Japan for Champions League final

  • Al-Hilal secured a 1-0 win over the Japanese club in the first leg on Saturday in Riyadh
  • The crown prince’s decision comes as a result of his support for Saudi Arabian football in the AFC championship

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has ordered four planes to transport Al-Hilal fans to Japan to support the club in their AFC Champions League final second leg match against the Urawa Red Diamonds.

Al-Hilal secured a 1-0 win over the Japanese club in the first leg on Saturday in Riyadh. The return leg is in Saitama, near Tokyo on Nov. 24.

The Saudi Press Agency said the crown prince’s decision comes as a result of his support for Saudi Arabian football in the AFC championship and to boost the morale of the team to seal the title.

The Saudi General Sport Authority have begun to coordinate with Al-Hilal’s administration to arrange for transporting fans to Japan.