Mo Farah’s Olympic career is over after he failed to make the grade for Tokyo.
Britain’s four-time Olympic champion had one final shot before Sunday’s midnight deadline to secure his spot on the Team GB plane heading to Japan next month.
Yet the 38-year-old failed to dip under the required 10,000m qualifying mark of 27 minutes 28 seconds in this last-ditch attempt at the Manchester Regional Arena.
His time of 27minutes 47 seconds on a cold Friday night at the British Athletics trials was simply not good enough.
And regardless of what he has done before at the highest level, Farah will not get any special favours or sympathy vote by selectors.
Asked if this was his last track appearance, Farah said: “It’s a tough one. I have always said if I cannot compete with the best, I wont just go to be in a final. Tonight showed it is not good enough.
“You go out there and give it all and that’s all you have. It’s quite windy. I tried to push and push and I ran my lungs out. That’s all you can do as a human being, give it your all. I’ve had a wonderful career. I’m very grateful. That’s all I had today.”
His name is on the 5,000m entry list for Saturday but it is extremely unlikely he would run again at such notice.
It is sad that a career that saw him excel at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics – with the 5,000m-10,000m double – should end in such low-key fashion in front of a few hundred fans and some cardboard cutouts.
Farah had ditched plans to run the Olympic Marathon in favour of a return to the track but his failure to qualify suggests he is nearing the end.
He had tried but failed for the required mark at the University of Birmingham earlier this month but blamed an ankle niggle for his slow display.
Farah added: “I don’t know what to think or what’s next for me. 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.”
Farah surprised the athletics world by cashing in on his fame and appearing on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! last November in a cold Welsh castle, which saw him dress up as a robin and slip on smelly fish guts.
It was rumoured his pay cheque was £300,000 but asked if that show was detrimental to his preparations, Farah said he had no regrets.
He said: “No, not at all. Not at all. You know, since then I’ve had some good training camps and training went well.
“Obviously I had some little niggles over three weeks ago. But I had a good 10, 12 days training camp.”
Sprinter Dina Asher-Smith will try to qualify for the 100m squad on Saturday, having qualified fastest from her heats in a time of 11.28sec.
One veteran that WILL represent Team GB this summer is tennis star Andy Murray.
The 34-year-old is languishing at No119 in the ATP Rankings.
But with current British No2 Cameron Norrie instead choosing to focus on building up to the US Open, two-time defending champion Murray will join Dan Evans in the Men’s Singles draw in Tokyo.
He will also play doubles alongside World No11 Joe Salisbury.