Sir Mo Farah will not defend his 10,000m Olympic title in Tokyo after failing to achieve the qualifying time at the 2021 British Athletics Championships.
He finished in 27 minutes 47 seconds on the first day of the championships in Manchester on Friday, 19 seconds outside the automatic selection time.
The 2016 10,000m Olympic champion also finished eighth as the second Briton behind Marc Scott at the European 10,000m Cup earlier this month – an event that also doubled up as the Olympic trial – in 27 minutes 50.54 seconds.
The 38-year-old was battling an ankle injury but made a late bid to meet the Olympic standard with the hastily-arranged 10,000m invitational.
But despite expert pacing, Farah fell short on Friday evening in cold and windy conditions. Farah subsequently cast doubt over his future involvement on the track, by admitting he would not continue merely to make finals and only wanted to compete with the very best, conceding that tonight proved he was short of that standard.
“I don’t know what to think or what’s next for me,” Farah admitted. “I just have to have a chat with my team and see what’s next. If I can’t compete with the best, why bother?
“There’s no excuse in terms of conditions, it is what it is. I genuinely thought I’d come out here, get the time and then go back to the training camp.
“I’ve had some decent sessions since my little niggle (ankle and foot) but I thought I should be able to run that. I’ve always said if I can’t compete with the best I’m not just going to go there to make the team.
“I’ve had an amazing career, thinking about it tonight it’s a bit shocking and I don’t really know what to say.
“I’m lucky enough to have so many medals, I’m one of these athletes who, if you can’t compete with the best, why bother?”