BIRMINGHAM, England – Mo Farah became the latest British athlete to withdraw from the UK Olympic trials when he pulled out of the 1,500 metres final due to be run later Saturday.

Farah ran in Friday's heats and qualified comfortably for the final.

But the 29-year-old, the reigning world 5 000m champion, has now decided to concentrate on defending his European 5 000m title in Helsinki next week as he builds towards a gold medal bid at the London Olympics.

His exit was set to cause embarrassment to UK Athletics who, on June 12, issued a press release urging the public to buy tickets for the trials in which Farah said: “At the Olympics I'll need to recover as quickly as possible between races, so running two races back to back will be good preparation.”

Farah's exit came less than a day after Britain's former world triple jump champion Phillips Idowu announced he would not compete at all in Birmingham following an injury suffered in Oregon.

World indoor triple jump champion Yamile Aldama, world 1500m silver medallist Hannah England, triple jumper Nathan Douglas and 800m runner Jenny Meadows are among other leading British athletes also absent through injury.

But Jessica Ennis is scheduled to take part in four individual events as she prepares to compete for heptathlon gold in London. – Sapa-AFP