Farah kicks loose to set record straight

While on a training trip to Addis Ababa in November Mo Farah was invited to the home of Haile Gebrselassie and found himself doing a traditional national dance in the company of the great Ethiopian distance runner.

There was a time when the man known as “the Little Emperor” kept to a record beat in the National Indoor Arena here in England’s Second City. With the high-tempo of Skatman blasting over the public address system, Gebrselassie set world indoor records in Birmingham for 2,000m in 1998, for 5,000m in 1999 and for two miles in 2003. Yesterday, Farah had the place dancing to his record-beating tune.

It may have “only” been a British record but it was a hugely impressive one nevertheless by the slender one-time refugee from Somalia who has been an adopted Londoner since the age of nine. For 13 laps of the 3,000m in the Aviva Grand Prix meeting, Farah stuck doggedly on the tail of Shadrack Korir. Then, with two laps to go, the 25-year-old Twickenham resident showed a clean pair of heels to a Kenyan who boasts the pedigree of a World Championship 1500m bronze medallist.

Slipping into overdrive, the smooth-striding Farah put 4.14sec between himself and Korir over the final 400m, crossing the line in 7min 34.47sec. In doing so, he took a whopping 6.52sec off the British record figures he had established in Glasgow just three weeks ago, earning his second $5,000 bonus of the indoor season. He also moved to fourth place in the world rankings for 2009 and, more significantly, to second in the European all-time ranking list, ahead of Spain’s Fermin Cacho and Dieter Baumann of Germany – Olympic champions both – and within striking range of the 7:32.98 recorded by Alberto Garcia of Spain in Seville in 2003.

“I knew I was in great shape,” Farah reflected. “I’ve just got to hold it together for the European Indoor Championships in Turin. I’ll go out there and give it 110 per cent.” Just 100 per cent of what the pride of the Newham and Essex Beagles club gave yesterday is likely to be too much for his rivals to handle when continental gold is on the line in northern Italy in a fortnight’s time, such is the rich seam of form he has struck since returning from training trips not just to Ethiopia but also to Kenya this winter.

Clearly, the disappointment of failing to make the Olympic 5,000m final in Beijing last summer is proving to be potent motivational fuel for Farah. Second in the European Championship 5,000m final in 2006 and sixth in the World Championships in 2007, he is rapidly realising his world class potential under the astute guidance of Alan Storey, the distance running guru who guided the Geordie distance running icon Mick “the kick” McLeod to Olympic 10,000m silver in Los Angeles in 1984 and Ireland’s Sonia O’Sullivan to Olympic 5,000m silver in Sydney in 2000.

It just so happened that McLeod’s younger son, Ryan, a Great Britain Under-23 international, was one of a clutch of home runners who clocked personal bests in Farah’s high speed wake – in his case 8:00.14 in seventh place, with Nick McCormick third in 7:50.50, Mark Draper fifth in 7:56.44 and Jonathan Taylor sixth in 7:58.60.

There was also a British record in the women’s pole vault, Sale Harrier Kate Dennison clearing 4.46m in a competition won by Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva with 4.82m. There was very nearly another in the women’s 800m, Marilyn Okoro missing Kelly Holmes’ national figures by a tantalising 0.06sec as she held off Jenny Meadows to claim victory in 1:59.27. “I’m pleased with that, going into Turin,” the Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier said.

Simeon Williamson was similarly satisfied with his showing yesterday, after winning the men’s 60m in 6.53sec – a time bettered by only one European this year, Dwain Chambers. The Highgate Harrier has patently benefited from spending Christmas training with Asafa Powell in Jamaica.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project