Sir Mo Farah CBE is one of the UK’s greatest ever athletes, the long-distance runner is a multiple Olympic, European and World champion. The first GB athlete to win three long-distance doubles at successive World Championships and Olympic Games, Mo is part of an exclusive group of athletes that have completed a 5k/10k double win, and the first athlete in history to do so on home soil.
Mo’s running abilities were spotted at a young age, after he moved from Somalia to England aged eight, and went to school in West London. His PE teacher encouraged him to take up athletics, rather than football, which is what Mo originally wanted to pursue. However, Mo was very successful as a junior athlete, winning the European Junior title for 5,000m in 2001. From there, Mo’s career has gone from strength to strength.
In 2010, Mo entered the spotlight as he became the first British man to run 5,000 metres under 13 minutes, completing the distance in 12.57minutes. What followed was a triumphant season for Mo, as 2011 saw him become the first British athlete to win the 5,000m in the World T&F Championships. He went on to smash the European 10,000m record with an incredible time of 26.46 minutes, and improved his own record 5,000m time to 12.53.
A year later, at London 2012 Olympics, Mo made history as he won GB’s first ever gold in 10,000m on ‘Super Saturday’. A week later, he won the 5,000m race in a time of 13.41, completing the hardest track double, a feat he repeated at Rio 2016. Mo repeated this at 2014 European Athletics Championships and with five titles to his name, became the most successful individual in the history of European Athletics Championships. He repeated his gold double at Beijing World Championships, and after his dramatic win at the Rio 2016 Olympics, secured his legacy as the greatest long-distance runner of all time.
Since Rio, he has continued to run some very successful races, including the 3,000m at the Birmingham Grand Prix in August, where he announced he would no longer be competing for GB, by symbolically handing his vest over to teammate Andy Butchart. Instead, he will focus on marathon running, hoping to make a similar impact to what he did on the track.
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