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Mo Farah        

Multiple Olympic, World and European Champion Distance Runner

Sir Mo Farah, CBE, is a multiple Olympic, World and European champion – the UK's greatest ever athlete. In summer 2017, Farah retired from the track with an impeccable record, with 10 gold medals to his name at successive World Championships and Olympic Games. He was the first athlete to win three long-distance doubles at successive World Championship and Olympic Games.

He has since set his focus on achieving success in road races, having made the successful transition to marathon running by breaking the British Record at the London Marathon in Spring 2018. He won the Chicago Marathon in 2019 and is aiming to compete for Great Britain at marathon distance in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

His achievements are a far cry from his humble beginnings in Somalia, arriving in London from Mogadishu at the age of 8 and speaking very little English. He grew up in West London and began running at school when spotted by his PE Teacher, Alan Watkinson, who saw potential in the young pupil. Watkinson convinced him to focus his efforts on running, despite Farah initially wanting to become an Arsenal football player.

His major breakthrough on the senior stage came in 2006 when he won a silver medal in the 5,000m European T&F Championships and later in the year when he won the European Cross Country Championships.

His career took another step forward in 2010 with a 5,000m and 10,000m golden double at the European T&F Championships, and then one week later he became the first British man to run sub 13 minutes for the 5,000m - with a National Record time of 12:57.94. 2011 was a dream season for Farah as he became the first British man to win the 5,000m in the World T&F Championships, a few days after winning the silver medal in the 10,000m.

On 4th August 2012, Farah created history at the London Olympic Games. In his first race, he capped off 'Super Saturday' by winning the 10,000m gold in a time of 27:30.42. A week later on 11th August 2012, Mo completed the hardest track double of them all by winning the 5,000m in a time of 13:41.66. He joined an exclusive club of just 5 people (Zatopek, Kuts, Viren, Yifter, Bekele) in the history of the Olympic Games to win the 5k/10k double.

Since London 2012, Farah has gone from strength to strength. During the 2014 European Athletics Championships, Farah successfully defended his 5,000m title and won gold in the 10,000m - completing another major championship double. This achievement made him the most successful individual in the history of the European Athletics Championships, with five titles to his name. He then repeated his long-distance gold medal double at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, before ending the 2015 season with victory in the Great North Run.

He secured his legacy as the greatest distance runner of all-time at the Rio 2016 Olympics - claiming the first-ever distance 'triple-double' after electric 10,000m and 5,000m gold medal wins. His victory in the 10,000m was particularly dramatic – with Farah accidentally being tripped during the race, falling to the floor and then having to catch up with the leaders – finally winning in a dramatic finish. To round off an incredible year, Mo was knighted in the Queen's New Year Honours list for his services to athletics.

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