Mohamed "Mo" Farah (born 23 March 1983) is a Somali-born British international track and field athlete. He is the current 10,000 metres Olympic champion and 5000 metres Olympic, World and European champion. On the track, he generally competes over 5000 m and 10,000 m, but also runs the 3000 metres and occasionally the 1500 metres. He has expressed a desire to move up to the marathon after the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Farah holds the European track record for 10,000 m, the British road record for 10,000 m, the British indoor record in the 3000 m, the British track record for 5000 m, the British half-marathon record, and the European indoor record for 5000 m. In July 2010, Farah won Britain's first-ever men's European gold medal at 10,000 m. He followed this with a gold in the 5000 m, becoming the 5th male athlete to complete the long-distance double at the championships and the first British man to do so. At the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, he won silver the 10,000 m and gold in the 5000 m. He became double Olympic champion at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, taking gold in both the 5000 and 10,000 metres.
In addition, Farah competes in cross-country running, where in December 2006 he became European champion in Italy. He also took gold in the 3000 m in both the 2009 and 2011 European Athletics Indoor Championships, in Turin and Paris respectively.
Farah was originally based in London and ran for Newham and Essex Beagles athletics club, training at St Mary's University College, Twickenham's sports facilities in Strawberry Hill from 2001 to 2011. In 2011 he relocated to Oregon, United States, in order to further his training with coach Alberto Salazar. Farah was also voted 2011 European Athlete of the Year from twelve nominees, with Christophe Lemaitre in second place. He won the same prize in 2012. He is an ambassador for Bupa, Lucozade Sport, Virgin Media and Nike.
Early Life and Education
Born in Mogadishu, Somalia. On 23 March 1983, Farah spent the early years of his childhood in Djibouti with his twin brother. He later moved to Britain at the age of 8 years old to join his father, speaking barely a word of English. Farah's father was born in England and grew up in Hounslow, London; his parents met after his father went on holiday to Somalia.
Farah attended Feltham Community College in London. His athletic talent was first identified by physical education teacher Alan Watkinson, who later said of Farah: "When I first met him, he was struggling academically and suffering from the language barrier. He needed focus and I sort of took him under my wing. His passion was football but it was his turn of speed on the pitch that showed his real talent." His ambition was to play as a right winger for Arsenal football club.