Mo Farah’s training partner takes national 10,000m title No.7 and says he 100% supports coach Alberto Salazar
Watched by his under-fire coach Alberto Salazar from the stands, Galen Rupp won his seventh consecutive US 10,000m title in Eugene on Thursday and then told reporters he hoped training partner Mo Farah would stay with the Nike Oregon Project.
“It’s been hard, I’m not going to lie,” he said after his race in Hayward Field. “It’s been difficult to focus but I think that I’m really happy that our report came out and I stand behind it 100%.”
The Olympic 10,000m silver medallist added: “I believe in clean sport and I believe the truth will prevail.”
Rupp’s race unfolded against a backdrop of accusations and counter-accusations relating to Salazar’s coaching techniques. The news has dominated the sports headlines in recent weeks after BBC’s Panorama programme alleged, among other things, that Salazar gave Rupp testosterone as a teenager.
Salazar maintained a silence for a lengthy period as former employees and athletes backed up the Panorama programme’s findings, but then on Wednesday the former world marathon record-holder issued an 11,600-word rebuttal where he denied the accusations and rubbished the claims of his attackers.
So there was huge anticipation surrounding Rupp’s race at the US trials for August’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing and Salazar could be seen watching the race and shouting out splits and words of encouragement from a temporary hospitality area as his athlete sped to a comfortable victory in warm weather in 28:11.61.
The event not only had the usual large number of US media, but also several British journalists who had travelled to Eugene due to Salazar’s and Rupp’s training relationship with Olympic and world champion Farah. Although it must be added there is no suggestion that Farah has broken any rules.
On the topic of Farah, Rupp said: “Yes, we’ve talked, for sure. I can’t speak for him, obviously, but I think we have had a great thing going and he’s had great success, and we know we do things the right way. But the rest is up to him.”
Certainly Rupp’s performance was well received by the crowd, who gave him a loud reception as he crossed the finish line with his thumbs up. “The people here are so great,” said Rupp, who plans to run the 5000m in Eugene on Sunday. “The support I receive down here and everywhere has just been tremendous. I was obviously pleased to get another championship and to do it here in Eugene, it’s always special.”
As always at the action-packed US Championships, the news was not simply about one event, though. In the heats of the men’s 100m an astounding 10 athletes broke the 10-second barrier in great weather conditions. They were led by Trayvon Bromell – the 19-year-old clocking 9.84 with a tailwind of +1.3m/sec.
It was a marked contrast to the Jamaican trials for Beijing, where Usain Bolt withdrew from the event and only one athlete – Asafa Powell – broke 10 seconds in the heats.
Elsewhere, Molly Huddle won the US 10,000m women’s title in 31:39.20 as she beat Shalane Flanagan by three seconds in the sultry conditions.