Mo Farah dominant, Shelly Fraser-Pryce sluggish in final pre-Rio races
LONDON (AP) -- Mo Farah cruised to victory in the 5,000 meters and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce fell short in a sluggish sprint on Saturday in contrasting fortunes for the Olympic champions in their final races before heading to Rio de Janeiro.
Back on the London track where he became a double Olympic champion four years ago, Farah dominated the field to finish 15 seconds ahead of fellow Briton Andrew Butchart.
Farah clocked 12 minutes, 59.29 seconds at the London Diamond League meet, delighting home fans at the Olympic Stadium.
“Not many people get a chance to compete in their home town and have so many memories of the place,” said Farah, who also won gold in the 10,000 at the 2012 Olympics.
The 33-year-old Farah has never felt in better shape heading into a major event.
“Training is going well,” he said. “It’s harder for me to defend (the titles), the reason being the rest of the guys had four years’ preparation to try and beat me.”
The other headline attraction on Saturday, Fraser-Pryce, knows what it’s like to be beaten after running the 100 in 11.06 seconds to finish third.
“I don’t have a lot of fitness because I haven’t been racing,” the Jamaican said. “So it was very important for me to come here to do these runs, just to see where I am and go back to training.”
The race was won by Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast with a personal best of 10.96, with Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago 0.03 seconds adrift.
Fraser-Pryce, a championship specialist who has won three world and two Olympic golds in the 100, is trying to become the first woman to win the same individual event at three successive Olympics next month.
“I’m hoping for the impossible to happen,” she said. “Psychologically I think am in a better place than I was a couple of weeks ago because I was really struggling.
“I am really confident. I am comfortable with where I am at. I am not 100 percent where I want to be, but you have to use what you have and get there.”
There was a more predictable outcome in the 200, with world champion Dafne Schippers winning in 22.13.
“I’m comfortable with being tagged as the favorite,” the Dutch sprinter said. “I’m never nervous which is good for me.”