Mo Farah has emerged in the last few years as an unstoppable 10,000m and 5,000m runner who looks set to change British men’s athletics and after two successive impressive seasons one can hope that he may bring home a medal at the 2012 Olympics when he challenges the world’s great long distance runners.
Farah first came into the spotlight in January 2009 when he broke the British 3000m record of seven minutes 40 seconds only to break his own record by more than six seconds just a few weeks later in what was described as the best performance by a male British distance runner for a generation. He went onto win the 3000m gold in March that year at the European Indoor Championships and at the 2009 World Championship he finished seventh in the 5000m in which he was the highest European finisher.
However despite a victory in his first road competition over 10 miles in 2009 Farah suffered several scares after finishing in his next competitions, collapsing after the finish at both the 2009 European Cross Country Championship and the Great Edinburgh Cross Country. The post-race medical attention he received led to tests that revealed he had low levels of iron and magnesium which were later corrected by supplements however his altitude training for upcoming events was affected.
Following his medical scare Farah recovered well and 2010 became his most successful season to date. Having beat the world record time in a road competition in London during late May he went on to improve his best 10,000m track time by sixteen seconds at the European Cup beating second place finisher Abdellatif Meftah by over 40 seconds. Farah then trained at altitude in Africa before returning for the 2010 European Athletics Championship. In the 10,000m race Farah finished a comfortable first unchallenged by the rest of the field. His gold medal showed he had put his health fears behind him to win his first major title and the first European gold in that event for Great Britain.
Later in the Championship Farah went onto win a second gold in the 5000m becoming only the fifth man in the 66-year history of the European Championships to achieve the 5000m/10000m double and the first man to do so in over 20 years. Following his success he broke the 5000m British record at a Diamond League meeting in Zurich becoming the first British man to run it in under 13 minutes. His brilliant improvement in form and rise to the top of British long distance running led to him being named track-and-field athlete of the year for 2010 by the British Olympic Association showing that people should take note of Farah as a star of the future.
Having won gold at the last four championships that he has entered Farah has demonstrated that he is the new formidable long distance runner for Great Britain and despite a bout of illness he has recovered and resurfaced as the man leading the way for London 2012.