Mo Farah reveals “scary” collapse forced him out of the Commonwealth Games

From an infected tooth to four days in hospital, the British distance runner says doctors feared for his heart

It started with an innocuous infected tooth, but ended with Mo Farah spending four days in hospital while doctors worried something was wrong with his heart.


The double Olympic champion has revealed that he was airlifted to hospital last month after collapsing in his bathroom in Portland, Oregon. It was known that illness was the reason he missed this year’s Commonwealth Games, but the extent of the problem has only now come to light as he prepares to run in the European Championships.

Farah said, “I had a tooth taken out because it was chipped and it got infected. I was in a bit of pain, but went for a run, and when I came back from a run I literally collapsed on the bathroom floor, completely knocked out.

“I had my phone in my pocket, so when I woke up and became conscious I called Cam [Levins] my training partner, the guy who came third at the Commonwealth Games, and he came round and got me on to my bed. I was in so much pain from my stomach, and so he called an ambulance and it took me to hospital. I then had to be airlifted to the main hospital as they thought something was going on with my heart – it was just crazy.”

Farah did not say exactly what caused the incident, but insisted he was fully fit now to continue competing after missing the Commonwealth Games. He expects to run both the 5,000m and the 10,000m in the European Championships in Zurich, which start today.


“I was in hospital for four days and it was scary, but these things happen and so I missed quite a lot of running, “he said. “I would have loved to have come back and continued the road to the Commonwealth Games, which I’d have loved to do. I didn’t want to disappoint my fans and all those who had bought tickets, but I just wasn’t ready – I was nowhere near ready.”