30/07/2013 14:30 | By Rob Jones, editor, MSN Sport

Mo Farah v Usain Bolt - who would win the 600m race?



Mo Farah and Usain Bolt (© PA)

The best distance runner on the planet versus the fastest man in the world ever.

Now who wouldn’t want to see that?

At the Anniversary Games Mo Farah challenged Usain Bolt to a charity race.

Farah, the 30-year-old Olympic champion at 5,000m and 10,000m, said the distance would have to be between 600m and 800m.

Bolt replied: "That sounds fun. It's going to be hard but it's charity so it's all about fun and enjoyment."

In an interview shown on Sky News, the Jamaican sprint star and world record holder at 100m and 200m said running 1500m would be out of the question.

"It's way too far," the 26-year-old said. "Six hundred (metres) for sure I can try because I've done 600m in training."

The track stars, who struck up a special connection during London 2012, will raise money for their own foundations by going head-to-head at the rarely run distance.

But who would win such an enthralling battle on the track?

The distance of 600m is just one-and-a-half circuits of the track, compared with the 12.5 laps that Farah completed to win his 5,000m gold medal.

So, at first glance it may seem like Bolt is the clear favourite.

The Jamaican has for a long time been asked to add the 400m event to his forte of the 100m and 200m and has always declined. Although the 400m is still a sprint, it’s an aerobic distance – meaning it requires patterns of breathing and causes lactic acid, which tires the muscles.

Mo Farah and Usain Bolt (© PA)

Bolt has always distanced himself from the 400m and an additional 200m would bring him hugely out of his comfort zone.

His body is refined to peak in largely anaerobic events where the body doesn’t have to deal with the build-up of lactic acid.

Physiotherapist and personal trainer to the stars Ben Kilner believes Farah’s training would mean he would be superior “Mo would win fairly comfortably because he’s got a better lactate threshold, so will be able to maintain a higher speed without producing much lactic acid.”

Bolt has run the 400m in 45.28 seconds, which - to put into context - would not have seen him reach the 2012 Olympics final and is just over two seconds outside the world record set by Michael Johnson in 1999 of 43.18 seconds.

And beyond the 400m is total unchartered territory for the sprint king.

Farah, on the other hand - although used to significantly longer distances - has experience in sprinting. When he won his gruelling 5,000m at London 2012 he completed the final lap in 52 seconds, less than seven seconds slower than Bolt has ever run the 400m.

There would only be one winner... and he'd be doing the Mo-bot

Projecting how the race may unfold Kilner said, “Bolt would clearly fly out of the blocks with help from his explosive training. 

"Whilst he wouldn't push to 100% he would take the initiative and try and build a lead over the first 400m to attempt the create the gap he requires before Mo’s superior speed endurance starts to take advantage."

"Passed 500m – how strong Bolt can finish will depend largely on how he has paced himself over the first 200m.

"600m requires a level of pacing, and that’s new territory for Bolt."

"While in the final 100m Bolt will be hoping he can cling on to enough of the early lead he built to win, I think Mo is likely to pass him in the last 40-60m. 

“It’s at the 550m mark where I think it would be too close to call. That’s the distance they should be running in my opinion.

“Mo would really be able to kick-on in the last 50m meaning there would only be one winner... and he'd be doing the Mo-bot” 

The bookies are also leaning towards the British Olympic hero, with Sky Bet making him 4/6 favourite for a race over 600m, with Bolt 11/10.

Regardless of the result, it would be tremendous to see. So, as Mo said to Bolt, "Let's get it on."

What Mo Farah v Usain Bolt 600m race would look like (© MSN and PA)

For more odds on the race visit Sky Bet

39Comments
30/07/2013 19:39
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It's a great idea! It's for charity and whoever loses won't be shamed as it's not their distance. I'm amazed at how negative some of the comments are! What's wrong with you people!
30/07/2013 19:03
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They are doing it for charity!  Read the article properly.
30/07/2013 20:21
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Don't care who wins i just want to watch it...aw hell GO MO!
30/07/2013 23:08
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Congratulations to two fine athletes admired by all, undertaking a one off  exhibition race, which will raise lots of money for charity, give something back to the fans (every one will want to watch) and have a bit of fun themselves. And although no gold medals or trophies on offer,greatly enhances their persona profile as sportsmen and human beings. Well done both.
30/07/2013 20:10
30/07/2013 21:30
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Who cares who wins as long as loads of charities benefit
30/07/2013 19:52
30/07/2013 20:07
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Mo is the clear favourite.
Unless U Bolt strikes like a Thunder, but unlikely.
He already admitted it is for Charity Mo may slow down deliberately to tease Bolt before the final sprint; close finish may be.

Both may try to do a fun finish! It is after all for Charity.
31/07/2013 11:07
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2 great athletes about to give their own time, to raise money for charity. Well done, hope it goes ahead.
30/07/2013 20:53
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Think Bolt would win, if he really  wanted to, but as its for charity he might just fool about being a great character, who l think is spontaneous and genuine, though didnt suprise me it was Mo,s idea.  But if for charity its worthwhile and should be interesting.
31/07/2013 01:22
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2 Very Great Athletes. Whoever crosses the line first the main winner would be Charity and it is very magnanimous for these 2 superb athletes to agree to do this, and I for one would sponsor both of their charities to see this take place. Bring it on! 
31/07/2013 17:29
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I, for one, would most definitely buy a ticket to see both these great athletes go head to head against each other. Wouldn't like to put a bet on it tho.
31/07/2013 13:00
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It would be a great exiting race to watch and a charity would benefit. Two great athletes and sporting ambassadors  giving there all. I think Mo would edge it over 600m and it should be at The Olympic Stadium.
31/07/2013 14:27
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awww....competitive but whoever wins...... they are still two of the best runners on the planet..... and best at their own thing

 

31/07/2013 12:14
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Make it a best of three races Guys.
31/07/2013 10:24
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These seem to be two genuinely nice guys, who cares who wins it would just be nice to see
31/07/2013 12:59
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if they where both to take it seriously i think it would be an interesting race as it is outside their comfort zones but as its for charity god only knows what would happen during the race and the outcome is forgone its win win win . for the charity's the public and two great runners
31/07/2013 14:53
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Two incredibly talented athletes---who havnt sat on their RC's in getting there----Now in appreciation of support, doing something to benefit charity.

 

Unlike the 'spoilers' of this world---- Who have nothing better to do than post what comes out of their RC's---without a cats chance in hell, of ever being relevant to man or beast--much less their mundane selves.

Great pity Room 101 doesn't have a King-sized Microwave---Frizzle---Byeeee.

31/07/2013 12:23
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Mo Farah cuz Bolt would b running 6 times the amount he normally does. Farah would be running like 6 times less. Bolt has to perform a miracle.
30/07/2013 23:51
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I agree with the article here If it really was a serious race it should be 550 metres, but its a charity event and you cant expect serious athletes to put their personal training program at risk. Mo will win easy
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