Radcliffe backs Farah for Rio defence


Paula Radcliffe believes Mo Farah is in good shape to defend his two Olympic titles when he competes at the Rio Games next month.

Four years ago, Farah claimed gold in both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres, delighting a partisan home crowd in London's Olympic Stadium.

Farah was back at the scene of that triumph on Saturday in the Diamond League, and put in an impressive showing to clinch victory in the 5,000m in a world-leading time of 12:59.29.

Radcliffe, the world record holder for the marathon, feels Farah has what it takes to claim more glory in Brazil.

"Yes I think so," she told Omnisport. "I think he thinks he's in very good shape this year and will continue to build from there towards Rio.

"If you're going to look for vulnerability against Geoffrey [Kamworor] and [Bedan] Karoki, it's more likely to be here [the UK] than it is in Rio to be honest. I think he's stronger.

"He holds all the cards, he holds that domination on the track. On the roads there is a little more opportunity for them to try and draw that sting out of his close and really test his endurance, which hasn't really been tested. I'm not saying it's not there.

"Hopefully it is there, but they have more leeway to test that and take it to him earlier in the race."

Athletics has been rocked by corruption and doping scandals over the past year, and Radcliffe hopes the Games serve to repaint the sport in a good light.

"I think it's going to be a good Olympics," she said.

"I think that the sport has been through a lot over the last year and a bit, but we still saw an amazing World Championships in Beijing and I think the athletes really want the opportunity to just get out there, to race, to do what they want to do and get the best out of themselves, and to show their sport in the best light.

"So, I think a lot of people are trying to get on with that and move forward to get the best performances out in the Olympics, which is what's so important to every athlete out there."