Anniversary Games: Mo Farah excited to return to scene of his gold nights at Olympic Stadium
Wednesday 24 July 2013
Mo Farah has stepped inside the Olympic Stadium just once since his golden double last summer.
He was back at the scene of his greatest career triumph for a photo-shoot, and where once 80,000 people shouted his name en route to double gold in the 5,000 metres and 10,000m, this time the stands stood empty.
On Saturday, once again a full house is expected and the chants will return as he competes for the first time in a 3,000m race, his first of the season, against the likes of Tariku Bekele and fellow Briton Chris Thompson.
Speaking from his training base in St Moritz, Farah described the prospect of a return as “emotional”. Recalling that one-off visit three months ago, he added: “I went back to an empty stadium. You picture things, where you were at that point and what happened. It will be quite emotional but, at the same time, it will be great to go back and win.”
Such a prospect is likely on current form. Last week in Monaco, he broke Steve Cram’s 28-year-old British record for the 1500m – lowering it from 3 min 29.67sec to 3:28.81.
“If you’d said to me after London that I will break the British record and break three minutes 30, I’d never have believed you,” he said. “It was a shock.”
His American coach, Alberto Salazar, had predicted Farah would break the mark but has not set him such lofty ambitions at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games this weekend.
Farah admitted to having been tired out by the 1500m and, as a result, his sole goal for the race is victory, though he is likely to do more than that.
It is almost exactly a year since Super Saturday when Farah won the first of his two Olympic gold medals in front of a frenzied home crowd. “It was very exciting. I was just buzzing,” he recalled. “There was quite a lot of pressure and people shouting out your name. It was just incredible. It was something I could never imagine.
“I knew Jess [Ennis] had done well – she was celebrating. I could see in the corner of my eye Greg [Rutherford] was happy but I didn’t know how well he had done. The crowd was getting louder so I knew he had done well.”
As for a similar roar this weekend, Farah said, “that would be amazing. It will never be the same again, but it will be great if it is close to that. They said the photo-finish camera shook.”
While Ennis-Hill and Rutherford, have struggled with injuries since, the former still nursing an Achilles problem and Rutherford battling a hamstring complaint, in contrast Farah said he is better than a year ago.
“I’m definitely a better athlete than I was. Definitely. I’m stronger and more experienced. But I’ve got to go and do it when it matters.”
Farah’s race precedes the men’s 4x100m relay, in which the ultimate showman Usain Bolt is likely to bring the house down, leading to suggestions that Farah and the Jamaican could once again swap their post-race celebrations, Farah doing the lightning bolt, with Bolt the Mobot.
The Londoner says it is unlikely, but a winning repeat of last summer is not.
The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action
Latest in Sport
World Masters Athletics Championships: Meet the 95-year-olds still picking up medals
Don't mess with me, Diego Costa warns Manchester City ahead of Chelsea clash
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
West Ham vs Liverpool match report: Reds are caught cold by hot Hammers
Aston Villa vs Arsenal team news: Alexis Sanchez incorrectly named in starting line-up as Alex Oxlade-Chamerlain called up to start
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teaching Assistant required in ...