Athletics: Only an A is enough for ambitious Mukhtar

Mukhtar Mohammed wins in the Men's 800m Heats at the EIS.
Mukhtar Mohammed wins in the Men's 800m Heats at the EIS.
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MUKHTAR Mohammed is hoping to make his breakthrough into a major championship after narrowly missing out on the Great Britain team over the last two years, writes Richard Fidler.

The 800 metre specialist has twice achieved the ‘B’ standard qualification time for the 2011 World Championships in Daegu and last year’s Olympic Games in London.

But on both occasions he missed out because others had run faster previously. He was particularly unlucky in his bid for London after finishing second at the trials.

However, he told The Star, after picking up a silver medal on Sunday at the British Indoor Championships at the English Institute of Sport in Attercliffe, that he can’t afford to settle for anything less than the A standard if he wants to be in the team for the World Championships in Moscow this August.

“In 2011 I got the B standard. 2012 I finished second in the trials and got the B standard. The UK team don’t take the B standard. They have good athletes who can make the A standard,” he said.

“That’s the big plan (to make the World Championship team). I want to make the semi and if I feel good go for the final and mix it up with all the big boys in the World Championship.

“I need to get that A standard out of the way and get on the team.”

Mohammed, aged 22, was edged out by reigning champion Joe Thomas in Sheffield despite having the same time - a new personal best indoors of one minute 48.55 seconds.

He said: “I said before the race that I needed to run smart - and I did that. Joe Thomas just had an extra gear, I tried to stay with him and I could see him slowing down. We were fighting all the way and it was so close.”

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