Farah leaves Rupp trailing on his way to record show
Monday 21 February 2011
In the bowels of the National Indoor Arena, Mo Farah had just finished his post-race parley with the gentlemen (and ladies) of the press and was preparing to make his exit, stage left. Having pocketed a tidy sum for his 13min 10.60sec shift in the feature race of the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham (£3,000 for winning the 5,000m, £3,000 for breaking the British and European indoor records and £1,000 for "outstanding performance of the meeting"), the star of the Second City show could afford to lay out a bob or two on childcare.
In the meantime, in the aftermath of his record-breaking victory, he was happy enough to have his daughter messing about in his wake. Little Rihanna Farah had her father's camera-phone and was taking snaps of the back of his lime-green running vest. It was the view that Galen Rupp ultimately saw of his new partner in graft after slugging it out over 25 laps of the tight 200m indoor track.
On the back straight on the final circuit, Farah finally pulled clear to slice 10.67sec off Nick Rose's ancient British indoor record and 0.53sec off Bouabdellah Tahri's European record. For Rupp, the runner-up in 13:11.44, there was the consolation of relieving Bernard Lagat of his nine-year-old US indoor record.
After four weeks as training partners in the elite group of distance runners guided by the former marathon great Alberto Salazar at Nike headquarters at Beaverton, on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, the Anglo-American alliance is clearly of mutual benefit. "We can help one another," Farah said. "I've enjoyed the time I've had training with Galen. I think it has made a difference already, training with Alberto's group, both mentally and physically. He's a great coach."
Rupp testifies to that. "We've got a great programme in Portland," the two-time US 10,000m champion said. "I think it's something that's going to benefit Mo tremendously."
The completeness of that programme was evident on Rupp's face as he spoke. His nose was plastered with a "Breathe Right" strip. "I've been wearing them ten, eleven years," he said. "It just opens the airways up. Every little bit helps."
"I'm very confident that Mo's in a very good place," Charles van Commenee, the head coach of UK Athletics, said. He will name Farah as one of the main men tomorrow in the British team for the European Indoor Championships in Paris.
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