ANDY VERNON has hit back at ‘arrogant’ Mo Farah after being labelled ‘an embarrassment’ in a Twitter spat.
The News Sports Awards sportsman of the year sparked an online row by questioning the quality of the field ahead of Farah’s return to action this weekend at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham.
Stubbington ace Vernon said: ‘He called me an embarrassment, but I find what he wrote is very naive.
‘Rather than me take offence to it – I feel it’s harsh on everyone else.
‘If he thinks I am an embarrassment, then what does he think about the rest of us?
‘It came across very arrogant from him.
‘Without blowing my own trumpet, I am, at the moment, the second best that the country has got.’
Fresh from retaining his News Sports Awards sportsman of the year title, Vernon was busy defending his reputation after inadvertently sparking a disagreement with GB team-mate Farah.
Posting on the social media site under the username @AndyVernonGB, the long-distance runner, who was second to Farah in the European Championships 10,000m final in Zurich last summer, wrote: ‘Another stellar field against Mo Farah on home turf this weekend at Birmingham. #joke.’
Farah, who is the current Olympic, World and European champion in both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres and has more than one million followers, took exception to the apparent jibe, replying under the username @Mo_Farah: ‘Shame you didn’t make the line up ... again #ComeBackWhenYouWinSomethingDecent’.
Vernon, 29, responded : ‘Lol Mo Farah I think even you can work out that I can make the cut to the Indoor Grand Prix. Lets hope no one loses their shoe...’
The argument then gathered pace as 31-year-old Farah retorted: ‘I wish you did make the cut mate so I can leave you in my dust like ALWAYS!! hahahaha #hatersgonnahate’
Vernon then took the spat off on an amusing tangent by picking up on the fact that GB team-mate Farah’s hashtag ‘hatersgonnahate’ was a lyric from a popular Taylor Swift song.
He said: ‘1) stop quoting Taylor Swift. 2) I don’t hate you Mo. I would just rather watch a race than the the Mo Show. #playersgonnaplay’
Farah, though, was not backing down and continued with a personal jibe at Vernon’s expense: ‘That’s why they didn’t put you in the race mate.. Cos you’re an embarrassment!! Taylor swift can probably run faster than you!’
Vernon, who is currently recovering from a hamstring tendon injury aggravated in the Great South Run in October ended the bizarre exchange by taking the higher ground.
He said: ‘She probably could at the moment. Good luck for the WR attempt.’
After the hour-long exchange died down, Vernon was left to ponder the argument’s startling escalation: ‘Don’t know how this got so blown up. Its no secret that Mo gets weaker fields put together for home races.’