Athletics: Sir Mo Farah wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year
PUBLISHED: 09:30 18 December 2017
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Newham & Essex Beagles runner finally gets hands on prize, but has moment of glory cut short by technical glitch
Newham & Essex Beagles runner Sir Mo Farah landed the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, but was denied a televised victory speech when technology failed him and the broadcaster at a critical moment.
Farah, who won his sixth world title in London this year, crowned his track career with a moment of public acclaim that appeared to take him by surprise.
But he could not give an acceptance speech during the BBC One show when a video link went down just as he prepared to talk.
The BBC explained the situation in a statement that said: “At the end of the programme there was a technical fault at an outside broadcast caused by a generator failure.”
An outsider for the award that many felt would go to heavyweight boxing world champion Anthony Joshua, Farah did not even attend the ceremony in Liverpool.
He must have been wishing he had made the trip north, however, when Liverpool football great Kenny Dalglish announced the 34-year-old as the shock winner.
Waiting for news in south-west London, where St Mary’s University has named a track in his honour, Farah clasped his hands to his face before revealing a wide smile.
He pointed at somebody off screen, and that was the point the big screen in Liverpool froze, before being replaced by a blue fault page, disappointing millions of viewers at home and thousands inside the Echo Arena.
The live programme went off air at 9.10pm, and Farah was able to rejoin the show’s presenters for an interview afterwards, meaning the crowd at the venue were able to hear his reaction to taking the honour.
He also conducted interviews on BBC radio and with other journalists at the event via the video link, which this time did not let down the most successful track and field athlete Britain has ever produced.
“It’s pretty amazing. It’s hard to think about over the years what I have done,” said Farah when the connection was restored.
“I did come out tonight and think maybe top three because we have some amazing superstars in sports and it’s been an amazing year.”