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Medal record

Farah at the European Cross Country Championships
Men's athletics
Competitor for  Great Britain
European Championships
Silver 2006 Göteborg 5000 m
European Indoor Championships
Gold 2009 Torino 3000 m
European Cross Country Championships
Gold 2006 San Giorgio su Legnano Individual
Silver 2008 Brussels Individual
Silver 2009 Dublin Individual
Silver 2009 Dublin Team
Bronze 2008 Brussels Team
European Team Championships
Gold 2009 Leiria 5000 m

Mohammed "Mo" Farah (Somali: Maxamed Faarax, Arabic: محمد فرح‎) (born 23 March 1983 in Mogadishu, Somalia) is a British international track and field athlete of Somali origin. He currently holds the British indoor record in the 3000 metres.

Based in London and running for Newham and Essex Beagles athletics club, Farah won his first major title at the European Junior Championships in 2001. On the track, he generally competes over 5000 metres, where he came sixth in the 2007 World Athletics Championships.[1] He also runs the 3000 metres and occasionally the 1500 metres. In addition, Farah competes in cross-country running, where in December 2006 he became European champion in Italy.[2] In 2009, he followed that with a gold medal in the 3000m at the European Indoor Championships in Turin.




Junior career

Farah arrived in Britain in 1993 from Mogadishu as a refugee, speaking barely a word of English. His athletic talent was identified by physical education teacher Alan Watkinson at Isleworth and Syon School. Farah has said of Watkinson: "Alan was a big part of my career". Farah continued his studies and was successful in physical education at Feltham Community College, a school located in Hounslow, London.[3]

Watkinson offered Farah the incentive of playing football for 30 minutes in the gym before taking him to the running club. In 1996, at the age of 13, Farah entered the English schools cross country and finished ninth. The following year he won the first of five English school titles.[3]

His first major title was at 5000 metres at the European Athletics Junior Championship in 2001.[4]

Senior career

In 2005, Farah made an important move, moving in with Australian Craig Mottram and a group of Kenyan runners that included 10000 metres world number one Micah Kogo. "They sleep, eat, train and rest, that's all they do but as an athlete you have to do all those things. Running with Craig made me feel more positive," Farah said. "If I ever want to be as good as these athletes I've got to work harder. I don't just want to be British number one, I want to be up there with the best."[3]

In July 2006, Farah clocked a time of 13 minutes 9.40 seconds for 5000 m to become Britain's second-fastest runner after Dave Moorcroft. A month later Farah collected the silver medal in the European Championship 5000 m in Gothenburg. Coaches Alan Storey and Mark Rowland made sure that Farah remained competitive and a few words from Paula Radcliffe before the 5000 m final inspired Farah. He has stated that: "She said to me, 'Go out and be brave. Just believe in yourself'."[3]

In December 2006, Farah won the European Cross Country Championship in San Giorgio su Legnano, Italy.[2]

Farah represented the UK at 5000 m in the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan. Farah finished sixth in a time of 13:47.54.[5]

In May 2008, Farah ran 10000 m events, claiming the fastest UK men's time for almost eight years. However, he suffered disappointment at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, being knocked out before the final in the 5000 m event.

In January 2009, Farah set a new British indoor record in the 3000 metres, breaking John Mayock's record with a time of 7 minutes 40.99 seconds in Glasgow.[6] A few weeks later he broke his own record by more than six seconds with a time of 7 minutes 34.47 at the UK Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham,[7] a performance which commentator Steve Cram called "the best performance by a male British distance runner for a generation".[8] Farah attributed his good form to a spell of winter training at altitude in Ethiopia and Kenya.[9] In March 2009 he took gold in the 3000 m at the European Indoor Championships in Turin, recording a time of 7 minutes 40.17.[10]

He competed at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics: he was in the leading pack early on in the 5000 metres race and eventually finished seventh – the best by a European runner. After the championships, he scored a victory in his first road competition over 10 miles, winning the Great South Run in 46:25 to become the third fastest Briton in spite of strong winds.[11]

Farah was one of the favourites to upset Serhiy Lebid's dominance at the 2009 European Cross Country Championships,[12] but he won the silver medal for the second year running. Lebid was never in contention, and Farah and Alemayehu Bezabeh were some distance ahead of the pack throughout. Farah was overtaken by Bezabeh in the latter stages of the race, leaving the Briton with a second consecutive silver medal at the competition.[13] He did not manage to attend the medal ceremony, however, as he collapsed immediately after the race and needed medical attention.[14] After a close third place behind Edwin Soi at the BOClassic,[15] he competed in the short course race at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country. He was the favourite to win and surged ahead to build a comfortable lead. However, he appeared tired in the latter stages and finished third behind British runners Ricky Stevenson and Steve Vernon. Farah again required post-race medical attention and subsequent tests revealed he had low levels of iron and magnesium. He was proscribed supplements for the condition and his high altitude training plans in Kenya were unaffected.[16]


Personal bests

Surface Event Time Date Place
Outdoor Track 800 m 1:48.69 3 August 2003 Eton
1500 m 3:33.98 28 July 2009 Monaco
One mile 3:56.49 6 August 2005 London
2000 m 5:06.34 9 March 2006 Melbourne
3000 m 7:38.15 31 August 2006 Zagreb
Two miles 8:20.47 3 August 2007 London
5000 m 13:07.00 14 September 2007 Brussels
10000 m 27:44.54 4 May 2008 Palo Alto
Indoor Track One mile 4:00.46 17 February 2007 Birmingham
3000 m 7:34.47 21 February 2009 Birmingham
Two miles 8:20.95 16 February 2008 Birmingham
Road 10 km 27:50 23 May 2009 London
15 km 43:13+ 25 October 2009 Portsmouth
10 miles 46:25 25 October 2009 Portsmouth

+ intermediate split in longer race


  1. ^ "World Championships 2007 Day Nine: As It Happened". BBC website.  
  2. ^ a b c "Farah storms to European success". BBC website. 2006-12-10.  
  3. ^ a b c d "Farah stars, with support". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2008-06-23.  
  4. ^ "FARAH, Mo: Profile". PACE Sports Management. Retrieved 2008-06-23.  
  5. ^ "2008 World Championship: 5000m Results". IAAF. Retrieved 2008-06-30.  
  6. ^ Farah breaks 3000m indoor record. BBC Sport (2009-01-31). Retrieved on 2009-02-03.
  7. ^ Farah breaks record in Birmingham, BBC Sport (2009-02-21). Retrieved on 2009-02-22.
  8. ^ "Funny guy Farah is now seriously fast", Guardian
  9. ^ "Mo Farah beats own record on good day for British athletes", Telegraph, 21 February 2009
  10. ^ "Farah cruises home to 3,000m gold", BBC Sport, 7 March 2009
  11. ^ Martin, Dave (2009-10-25). Farah scores tremendous victory while Monteiro destroys opposition in Portsmouth. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-10-25.
  12. ^ Wenig, Jorg (2009-12-12). Farah: "I am in better shape than a year ago" – Euro Cross Country Championships press conference. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-12-13.
  13. ^ Bezabeh becomes Spain's first champion, Lebid third. European Athletics (2009-12-13). Retrieved on 2009-12-13.
  14. ^ Hayley Yelling clinches shock win as Mo Farah collapses. BBC Sport (2009-12-13). Retrieved on 2010-01-12.
  15. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2010-01-01). Three-peat for Soi in Bolzano. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-01-12.
  16. ^ Mo Farah returns to training after medical tests. BBC Sport (2010-01-12). Retrieved on 2010-01-12.

External links


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