Farah threat to African stranglehold at Worlds

British distance runner Mo Farah will have travelled further than most as he attempts to end the Ethiopian and Kenyan stranglehold on the men's 10,000 metres title at the athletics World Championships.

Farah arrived in Britain from Somalia as an eight-year-old and settled in West London. Last year, he spent time training in Kenya before winning the European 10,000 and 5,000 titles and has now moved his wife and young daughter to Oregon in the United States so he can be coached by three-times New York Marathon winner Alberto Salazar.  

The journey has paid dividends and Farah is in the form of his life going into the August 27-September 4 championships in Daegu, South Korea.

Unbeaten in his last 10 races, Farah is the fastest man this year over both the 10,000 — thanks to a European record of 26 minutes 46.57 seconds set in June — and the 5,000.

"Things have been going really well. I've been enjoying being based in Portland, Oregon with Alberto Salazar as my coach," Farah said in a news conference in the build up to the London Grand Prix earlier this month. "He's a really great coach and for the last six months everything's gone really well. The worlds are not far away so I've got to just keep my feet on the ground and continue doing what I'm doing."

The last athlete outside of Kenya and Ethiopia to win the World 10,000 title was Italy's Alberto Cova in 1983 — the year Farah was born. Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele has taken gold at the last four championships, and also won the 5000 title in Berlin two years ago, but the World record holder has injury problems after rupturing a muscle in his right calf in January 2010.

Farah began his season by retaining his European indoors 3000 title in March and it was over the same distance that he rounded off his World Championships preparation this month with victory in front of an adoring home crowd at Crystal Palace.

The 28-year-old brought spectators to their feet with his blistering finish, running the last 200 in just over 25 seconds for a comfortable victory.

"It's just pure hard work and graft, nothing is easy, you know, I just keep training. You have to make sacrifices," he told reporters after the race.  Farah has also been selected for the 5000, over which he set a British record of 12:53.11 in July, and has not written off the possibility of attempting a distance double. "In Daegu, I'm definitely going to give 110 percent in the 10k and then see what happens. I'll see how the legs are then go for it in the five after," he added.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get the top news in your inbox
GET IT
Comments (+)