RUNNING ace Mo Farah has reassured a South Tyneside schoolboy that he didn’t stop him from winning the Great North Run.
Little George Kirwan feared he’d caused the athletics ace to finish second in last Sunday’s half-marathon after the double Olympic and World champion threw him his hat during the race.
The six-year-old was standing with sister Bethany, five, and mum Christina, on John Reid Road, and doing the ‘Mo-bot’ to spur the star on – when he caught the special memento.
However, when the family returned to their home in Hadrian Road, Jarrow, and realised Mo had lost out to Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele by one second, George became worried and asked his mum if his favourite runner had lost because he gave his hat away.
Mo’s agent Ricky Simms has reassured the St Mary RC Primary School pupil. He said: “Please assure George that Mo did not lose any time by giving him his hat. Mo is happy the kids enjoyed it and they are welcome to keep it as a memento.”
And experts from the Bupa Great North Run, who have studied pictures snapped by former Gazette photographer Craig Leng, also think Mo wasn’t slowed down by his generosity.
A spokesperson from the Bupa Great North Run said: “Looking at the pictures, you can see at this point the eventual winner, Kenenisa Bekele, was well behind Mo, and Mo didn’t stop to pass his hat, he’s good at doing things on the move.
“We’re sure it made no difference to the final result. We hope Mo will be back next year to try again, and George and his family come along and see him win.”
Ms Kirwan, also mum to baby Harrison, is pleased the hat wasn’t to blame.
She said: “That’s a relief. I know George will be reassured now he didn’t delay Mo, because he was worried. He’s loved all the attention since catching Mo’s hat, so he’ll be thrilled with the news.”
Bekele won in one hour and nine seconds, with Mo a second behind.