Mo Farah: Double whammy at world championship puts Briton among the greatest distance runners

The Somalia-born 30-year-old went down in the history books as just the second man to win the 5000 and 10,000m races at the Olympics and the world championships.

Updated: August 19, 2013 16:23 IST
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"Eat, sleep, train.That's all I have done. You just keep running, running and running. And sometimes it's hard, but I want to be a champion" said Mo Farah after winning the 5000 metres gold at the 2011 world athletics championships in Daegu, South Korea. His mission statement maybe simple, but the things that the 30-year-old runner has managed to achive during his long career are anything but simple.

On Friday, the Brition went down in the history books as just the second man to achieve the 'double double', winning the 5000 and 10,000m races at the Olympics and the world championships. After his triumph he said: "It was great, it was amazing, I got what I wanted and it wasn't easy from last year to this year, because I had to work twice as hard."

Mo was the defending champion and favourite to win the 5000, but the 10000 was a different matter altogether after what happened in the 2011 world championships where he finished second best behind Ibrahim Jeilan of Ethiopia. But this time in Korea, the two-time Olympic champion relegated Jeilan to the silver. This performance prompted marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe to say: " It puts Mo up there as the greatest male distance runner that Britain's ever produced."

The journey to greatness began at a very early age, after an eight-year-old Mo moved to England from Somalia. His first coaches all saw a special spark in Mo that would help him win an Olympic gold and that too a 'double' at 2012 London Games. This saw Mo rake in an estimated 2 million Pounds in advertising and sponsorship. Along with the money came global recognition and with it the chance to give something back as well. In 2011, he set up the Mo Farah foundation, that provides life saving aid to people in East Africa.

Off the track, Mo is a complete family man. His wife Tania Farah says: "He's a dedicated husband and father. He spends all of his time away from training with us and he puts us before himself."

His trademark celebration, the Mobot is perhaps as famous now as Usain Bolt's lightning bolt and guess what, Mo has challenged Bolt to a race over 600m which Bolt has accepted. Now that's one race that's bound to scorch the tracks.

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