Farah finished seventh in a disappointing run (Photo: PA)

Sir Mo Farah revealed a bug was to blame after he suffered a Knight-mare in his 2017 debut.

The four-time Olympic champion said he picked up a virus over Christmas as he slumped to seventh at the Great Edinburgh International in his last-ever cross-country outing.

Instead it was local hero Callum Hawkins who flew the flag at Holyrood Park on Saturday with the Scot – who came ninth in the marathon at Rio 2016 – pipped on the line by American Leonard Korir but becoming the first Brit to get the better of Farah since he came third here seven years ago.

Mo said: “I am disappointed with seventh but you have got to be honest with yourself and the last couple of weeks of training haven’t gone as well.

Farah struggled to hit his best form (Photo: PA)

“I could have pulled out of the race and stayed at home but I was running for my country.

“It is not where I want to be. It just hasn’t gone as smoothly as I wanted and it has shown today. But I am still fighting. I was still in pain at the end.

“All credit to Callum, he is a great athlete and he showed that without a doubt – what a great performance. I was hoping that he was going to win the race. At the end it was pretty close but he is a great athlete.”

It was Farah’s last-ever cross country race (Photo: PA)

Hawkins, already picked for the world marathon in London in August, reckons there’s a new guard coming through who won’t make Farah’s last season on the track an easy ride.

The 24-year-old said: “I think if he has an off-day, like here, there are a few of us now who can take him. You see what he’s done for British athletics to spur people like myself, Andy Vernon and Andy Butchart on. The sport is moving in the right way, back to where it was.”

The USA took overall victory in the event ahead of Europe and the USA with Turkey’s Yasemin Can winning the women’s race.

Farah poses with a Sir Mo sign (Photo: PA)

But rising star Laura Muir led the Brit squad to top spot in the 4x1km relay to cap a week that saw her smash the UK indoor 5,000m record that has stood for 25 years.

She said: “I knew I had to put in the boot in from the start. I just wanted to go out there and run as hard as I can.

“I have been fortunate to win every time that I have done the relay so I wanted to come home with the win again here. As captain as well, it is part of my duties for the team.”

This article was sourced from http://emptynestmagazine.com