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Sir Mo Farah Bids Farewell To The Track After Running His Last Race

Storyline:National News, Sports

It was a fitting send off for the Somali born athlete, to have the last race of his career at the stadium where he won two gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Sir Mo Farah had already won gold in the 10,000 metre race at this year’s World Championships in London a few days ago; but his final event on the track, the 5,000 metre, he placed second behind Ethiopian Muktar Edris.

While it wasn’t the result he wanted, the race caps off a stellar career that has spanned more than two decades; and he wraps up his time being the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history. Farah is such an incredible runner because while he mostly competes in the 5,000 and 10,000 metre races, he has also been competitive in shorter distances and marathons.

The 34-year-old’s talent was noticed by physical education teacher Alan Watkinson, who told him he’d buy Sir Mo a football shirt if he won the English schools cross country.

From there, Sir Mo developed a hunger for the sport and went on to amass five English school titles. He also credits Australian Craig Mottram for developing his mentality to running, telling the BBC: “Running with Craig made me feel more positive.

“If I ever want to be as good as these athletes I’ve got to work harder. I don’t just want to be British number one, I want to be up there with the best.”

A year after moving in with Craig and other Kenyan runners, Sir Mo became the second-fastest runner after Dave Moorcroft. He went from strength to strength, setting British records and beating them, and winning gold at the European Athletics Championships. Sir Mo became the fifth man in history to win the 5,000 metre and 10,000 metre events at the 2010 European Championships.

But he was enshrined with legendary status at the 2012 London Olympic Games when he won two gold medals for his two favourite events. When Sir Mo won the 5,000 metre even at a time of 13:41.66, it was estimated that the noise the crowd made was roughly 140 decibels, which is about the same as a jet plane taking off.

Farah mentioned the incredible noise levels after the race, saying: “With each lap it was getting louder and louder and everyone else in the race I’ve talked to said they couldn’t believe how loud it was. Bernard Lagat said he knew when I was getting close to the front because of the noise. It was just overwhelming.”

He was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2013 for his service to athletics. The move was criticised because people thought he deserved a higher honour, which he received in the 2016 New Year Honours list, after nabbing a gold double again at the Rio Olympics.

Sir Mo is known for his signature move the Mobot, which first appeared in 2012 after an episode of A League of Their Own. Virgin Media says it will donate £2 for every video that’s uploaded to YouTube with the Mobot in it.

While he has hanged up his boots for track running, he will still compete in marathons. Many have praised him for being one of the greatest British athletes, but long distance running Paula Radcliffe sums it up nicely, telling the Evening Standard: “He’s just the perfect championship runner, and it’s not easy to sustain that period of dominance for such a long period of time like he has.”

Well done Sir Mo.

By: Stewart Perrie