Athletics: Sheffield’s Mukhtar Mohammed stays positive despite European Championships heartache

Mukhtar Mohammed
Mukhtar Mohammed
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Mukhtar Mohammed insists he will be better for his European Indoor Championships heartache after seeing his Prague adventure fail to get off the ground on Friday evening.

Mohammed was the first of three British 800m male runners in action on day one in the Czech Republic as he eyed up a place in Saturday’s semi-finals.

But it wasn’t to be as the 24-year-old finished his heat in third place, his time of 1:49.75 minutes also not fast enough to see him secure one of four fastest loser spots.

It means that Mohammed’s European Indoor Championships adventure was short and not particularly sweet, with compatriot Guy Learmonth progressing while James Bowness also bowed out.

However the Sheffield Running Club ace is adamant the disappointment has armed him with everything he needs to make the summer of 2015 a memorable as he eyes up Beijing and the World Championships.

“I’m disappointed with that because I was in a good place and on the right time with 200m to go but as soon as the boys kicked in I didn’t have the legs to change,” he said.

“I was going one pace and even though the race was slowing down in the last 80m I was trying to catch up but it was too late.

“I know what I’ve got to work on when I get home though.

As soon as the race kicked in and that change they had when they were passing me, I knew they were coming and I wanted to react but they were faster than me.

“They did slow down and I was coming, coming, coming but it was too late because they already got the big gap.

“But it’s good that I’ve been here because every time I race against world class athletes and top Europeans it makes me better.

“This will motivate me to work and improve for the outdoors and I need to go away on work hard on how to control the race from the front and finish hard.

“It’s great that there’s so much competition, we’ve got people like Andrew Osagie, Guy Learmonth, James Bowness, there’s about six people at a high standard. It pushes us to train harder and there is no excuses because it is not easy to make the team.

“I’m going to rest now and then go away for six weeks to train before the outdoor season gets underway. Beijing is the big aim and I don’t want to race a lot of races because I want to peak for that.”

There was better news however for City of Sheffield’s Lee Emanuel who lived to fight another day in the 3000m.

Emanuel looked comfortable as he crossed the line second in his heat in 7:52.14 minutes to ease into Saturday’s showpiece.

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