Farah focused despite sacrifices

Mo Farah will compete in New York this weekend

Mo Farah will compete in New York this weekend

First published in National Sport News © by

Double world and Olympic champion Mo Farah has spoken about the continuing sacrifices he makes to remain the world's top distance runner.

Farah won the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the London Olympics in 2012 and repeated the golden double at the World Championships in Moscow last year.

The Somalia-born 30-year-old had also won gold and silver at the previous World Championships in Daegu to add to numerous European titles, but still spends months away from his family to train in Kenya.

And after a brief reunion with his wife and three daughters in New York this week as he prepares to contest Sunday's half-marathon, Farah will fly back to Kenya on Tuesday to complete his preparations for next month's full marathon debut in London.

"It's really emotional," Farah said of his reunion with wife Tania, step-daughter Rihanna and twins Aisha and Amani, who were born shortly after his Olympic triumph. "My kids have grown so much in the last few months.

"In the back of my head I'm thinking, 'They might not recognise you'. When you walk in the room and still recognise you and they come out and give you a hug, it's really emotional.

"It's what it takes to be a champion. I wish I could just sit in my house and do stuff with them, but I wouldn't have achieved what I have. My kids are lucky to have a nice place and we can buy them nice stuff. I guess it takes sacrifice to be a champion."

Farah faces some tough opposition in New York as he looks to win the race for the second time, most notably from Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai, who has broken the 60-minute barrier on six occasions.

"I should be able to do that at my level, but at the same time I don't know if this is a race where you want to go out there and think about times," Farah added.

Farah's British record of 60 minutes 59 seconds was set in New Orleans last February, although he has twice run quicker on courses that were not deemed suitable for record purposes.

Two years ago in New York, Farah clocked 60mins 23secs, while he ran 60:10 when finishing second to Kenenisa Bekele in the Great North Run last September. This year's course through Manhattan has been altered to make it eligible for record times.

"As a champion, you don't want to lose a race," Farah added. "If I said I didn't care about winning, I wouldn't be telling the truth. I want to do what I can do, whatever it takes."

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