Composed Farah breaks his 5,000m indoor mark

Mo Farah

LONDON • Mo Farah ended his indoor career with a new European record, winning the 5,000 metres at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday in a time of 13 minutes 09.16 seconds.

Farah, Britain's four-time Olympic champion, plans to focus on road racing after the outdoor world championships in London in August when he will bid farewell to the track.

The 33-year-old, who won gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games, was helped to break the indoor mark at the Birmingham Indoor Arena in what became a duel with Kenyan Albert Rop, who stretched him over the final two laps.

It was a fitting way for Britain's most successful long-distance runner to end his indoor career - and a marked improvement on his only other appearance this season, when he came seventh in a cross-country event in Edinburgh last month.

"I knew from Edinburgh I needed to do some work," he told the BBC.

  • 1.44

  • Seconds Mo Farah shaved off his previous European indoor 5,000m record, set six years ago.

"I had to go away and leave my family behind to do more training. It has paid off. Hard work pays off."

Farah shaved almost two seconds off the European record - and more than 12 off the previous British best - after pacemaker Adam Clarke had taken the 11-man field through a fast opening to the race.

Urging the crowd to raise the noise levels, Farah exuded his trademark calmness as he tucked in behind Rop for the final stages.

He hit the front with two laps to go before extending his lead, much to the joy of the large crowd.

Farah did not realise he had broken the record but acknowledged the support he has received during his stellar career.

"The crowds have been so good for me over the years. I will miss it," he said.

"I can't quite believe it's my last race."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2017, with the headline 'Composed Farah breaks his 5,000m indoor mark'. Print Edition | Subscribe