Mo faces new twin challenge
Double gold medallist celebrates birth of baby girls while hoping to deliver on the track again today
Sunday 26 August 2012
Another Saturday, another notable double for Mo Farah to savour. Two weeks on from the completion of his twin success in the delirious Olympic Stadium, the golden boy of British athletics had some more good news to impart yesterday on the eve of his appearance in the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix.
Invited to talk about "the madness" of the fortnight since he followed up his winning Olympic 10,000m run with victory in the 5,000m final, Farah spoke about his life becoming "really crazy", then announced: "Yesterday my wife gave birth to two little girls, so there has been that as well."
The double Olympic champion had attended the birth in London before travelling up to Birmingham on Friday night. Asked how the experience compared with winning two Olympic finals, he said: "Oh, it's completely different. It's something that's out of your control… It was weird. As a father I'm just proud to have three kids in the family now. It's going to be exciting."
Happily, mother Tania and the two babies are in good health. The twins – sisters to seven-year-old Rihanna – have yet to be named but they have two golden presents awaiting them. "I'm going to get their names on my two Olympic medals, one on each," Farah said. "The one who was born first gets the 10,000m medal and the other one gets the 5,000m medal."
Any further details will have to wait. "I can't say too much," Farah said. "I'm saving it for my book, which is coming out at some point soon. All the excitement is going in that."
The book is all part of the elevation in profile that comes with being a double Olympic champion – as well as the other craziness of the past fortnight, such as the hooker Brett Sharman having his contract with Northampton Saints terminated after a racist tweet about Farah, and the emergence of the fact that Farah has a twin brother, Hassan, still living in Somalia.
Asked about Sharman's tweet, Farah shrugged his shoulders. "I've not heard it, but I do read Twitter," he said. "It is what it is." Asked about his twin, Farah replied: "It is a true story. I wanted to come out and talk about it in my own words but unfortunately it came out from someone else. I didn't want it to overshadow my Olympics – something I've trained so hard for in my career. But it is true. I'll talk about it in more detail in my book."
Farah has two more chapters to write before closing the book on his racing in 2012. He has a two-mile race at the Alexander Stadium this afternoon, and then the Great North Run half-marathon on Tyneside on 16 September.
The 29-year-old has not lost an outdoor track race all summer and there will be a 12,800 sell-out crowd in Birmingham to see him attack a British two-mile record that has stood for 34 years. It is one of the national records that happens to still belong to a member of the golden trinity of Great British middle- distance runners.
It was set originally as a two-mile outdoor world best by Steve Ovett at Crystal Palace on 15 September 1978, five years before Farah was born. With a last lap of 55.8sec, the Brighton runner overcame the great Kenyan Henry Rono and finished 0.2sec inside Brendan Foster's old record with a time of 8min 13.5sec.
"It's going to be exciting," Farah said. "It's not going to be the same as the atmosphere at the Olympics but hopefully I can put a good show on for the people who missed out and couldn't watch me at the Olympics. It's going to be exciting to be competing again in England.
"I've kept training in the past fortnight. It's important that I train, because if I don't then I won't do as well. It's been a little bit harder because of the extra stuff I've had to do. It has been crazy, but that all comes along with it.
"It's great for the sport. I just can't believe how many people watched the Olympics. Going down the street, people keep saying, 'Well done'. The support has been overwhelming."
It was the same when Farah swept into the home straight in the 10,000m final on Super Saturday and again in the 5,000m final a week later. "It's like when you're a kid and you go and see a football match and the goal goes in and it gets louder and louder," he said, reflecting on the deafening noise in the Olympic Stadium. "It felt like that but twice as loud.
"I'd never experienced anything like it before and I don't think I ever will again. It was overwhelming – 80,000 people cheering for one person."
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