In Depth

Farah out of Commonwealth Games as he pays for marathon

Another big name star has pulled out of Glasgow 2014 on the first day of competition

Olympic champion Mo Farah has become the latest big name to pull out of the Commonwealth Games, announcing his decision on the first day of competition in Glasgow.

The English runner, who won gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m at the London Olympics has concentrated on longer distances for most of this season and had his preparations for the Games hampered by illness after being hospitalised for two days with a stomach problem.

He announced his withdrawal the morning after the opening ceremony in Glasgow. He said it was a "tough decision" but explained: "The sickness I had two weeks ago was a big setback for me.

"I really wanted to add the Commonwealth titles to my Olympic and World Championships but the event is coming a few weeks too soon for me as my body is telling me it's not ready to race yet."

The news is a "major blow" for the Games, which has lost another of its box office stars, says The Guardian. It also damages the English team's medal prospects in the athletics events.

Farah's withdrawal comes after heptathlete Katerina Johnson-Thompson, the heir to new mum Jessica Ennis-Hill's throne, pulled out because of a foot injury and sprinter Dwain Chambers elected to focus on the European Championships.

With Farah and Ennis-Hill sidelined, Greg Rutherford will be the only one of Team GB's trio of 'Super Saturday' Olympic gold-medallists to compete in Glasgow, notes the Daily Telegraph.

"Farah has just run once on the track this year, in a low-key meeting in Oregon, having spent the early part of the year preparing for his marathon debut in London, where he finished eighth," notes The Times.

The longer distances have disrupted his schedule, says Steve Cram of the BBC. "Running the marathon earlier in the year has upset his normal pattern and had an impact on his summer," he said.

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