Double a 'long shot' for Farah
MO FARAH is a "long shot" to win 5,000 metres gold at the World Championships today, according to UK Athletics head of science Barry Fudge.
The beating the double Olympic champion's legs would have taken in winning the 10,000m title just six days earlier means his bid for a second crown is a journey into the unknown.
Farah and American training partner Galen Rupp are the only two athletes in Moscow attempting the double, and Farah looked fresh in the 5,000m heats on Tuesday as he conserved as much energy as possible to seal his place in the final.
Since then it has been a questions of resting and recovering to ease the soreness in his quads and calves.
"If Mo wins a medal on Friday night he's going against the odds basically," Fudge said.
"The media will probably build him up, but it is a long shot. You don't really know what's going to happen, how his body's going to respond.
"He will be a massive favourite, but it's never easy. Those guys are going to go hard.
"We just do everything we possibly can and hopefully he'll be on that start line in as best shape possible."
The 10,000m was always going to be the easier assignment simply because it was the one up first at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Farah unforgettably managed to do the double at London 2012, but this time there is one fewer day to recover.
Fudge admits that makes "a huge difference".
"I think as much as anything it's the damage to the legs from the Mondo track, it's incredibly hard," he said. "Running a 10,000m is hard obviously, but it's the damage of 10,000m on a Mondo track.
"Most people wouldn't do it. Most people can't. It's hard.
"People just see him turn up in a stadium and run the race and go, 'Wow, that's incredible'. But what actually goes in to getting you to that point is a massive, massive achievement."
As well as looking after Farah's body, Fudge's role also includes acting as minder to stop him from getting mobbed by over-zealous fans desperate for pictures and autographs.
Farah warned on Sunday that his winning is now being taken for granted by those watching, the price of success.
Kenya's Edwin Soi, the world number one and the only man to beat Farah over 5,000m this year, is also in what should be a mouth-watering final, along with Ethiopian pair Hagos Gebrhiwet and Yenew Alamirew.
All three have run considerably faster than the Briton this summer, but he has developed a habit of dominating a race when it matters.
"Mo is now incredibly confident about what he does day to day in terms of running championships," said Fudge.
"You can see him just walking round the hotel, he knows he's a winner.
"He's got a great engine and, if you go into physiology, he's got the perfect physiology for a championship runner, but also his ability to switch off, relax is incredible.
"Also that ability when he's absolutely knackered to sit on top of a mountain and go out and do another 17-mile run. That's his superpower, he's incredible at that."