Athletics

Mo Farah; Early life, career, personal life and achievements

Mo Farah
  • Mo Farah is a Somali-born British athlete. 
  • He is undoubtedly one of the best European athletes of all time. 
  • Farah shifted from track events to running marathons after the 2017 world championships.

Mo Farah is in the history books as one of the greatest athletes of all time. He is a Somali-born British long-distance runner. 

Farah is the most successful British track athlete in the history of the modern Olympic games. The 39 years old has a record of the most successful male track distance runs in history. He has ten global championship gold medals, six world titles and four Olympic medals. 

Early Life

Mohamed Abdi, known as Mo Farah, was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. Farah’s father was a businessman who was originally from Gabiley. Farah and his family fled from Mogadishu to Djibouti, where he spent his early childhood as a refugee. 

Farah later moved to Britain, where he joined his father. He attended Isleworth and Syon School before later joining Feltham Community College. The athlete also worked at McDonald’s while growing up. 

His ambition was to be a mechanic or play football as a winger for Arsenal. Farah’s athletic talent was discovered by the physical education teacher at his school.

He joined the Borough of Hounslow Athletics Club in West London. He began participating in athletic competitions when he was 13. His first major title was in the 5,000 metres in 2001 at the European Athletics Junior Championship. 

Career

Mo Farah began his career by winning the 5,000 metres International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) in South Africa. He was unbeaten outdoors in 2012, where he took gold medals at the London Olympics. 

The runner continued his hot streak the following year when he won gold medals in the 5,000-metre and 10,000 races. He won both his signatures at the European championships in 2014 and the 2015 world championships. 

Farah switched his mind from track events to running marathons after the 2017 world championships. He won his first marathon the following year in Chicago.

Mo Farah

Mo Farah. Photo/ The Guardian

The British long-distance runner has made several achievements in his career. Farah was awarded the European Athlete of the Year in 2011 and 2012. The athlete was also appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2013. 

Personal life

Mo Farah has a twin brother, Hassan, who lives in Somali. The brothers were separated at eight years when Farah, his mother and two younger brothers moved to Britain to be with their father. Hassan was unwell then, so he remained in Djibouti with his grandmother. 

Farah’s father late came back to pick up Hassan, but the family he was living with could not be traced. Hassan was reunited with Farah and the rest of the family twelve years later. 

The athlete is known for his celebration dance known as the “Mobot”. He uses the celebration dance after winning a race or raising funds for his foundation. The athlete often uses the sign-off Shaba in online postings. 

Mo Farah is a Muslim who is an active supporter of the Muslim Writers Award. Farah revealed during an interview that Islam is an important part of his preparation as he reads dua before competitions.

Mo Farah is a big fan of Arsenal and has even trained with the first-team squad in London. After he retires from athletics, he intends to be a fitness coach at the Emirates Stadium. 

Mo Farah married his longtime girlfriend, Tania Nell, in April 2020. Tania and Farah have twin daughters, Amani and Aisha, born in August 2012. They also have a son called Hussein, who was born in 2015. 

The British athlete has endorsement deals with several top companies such as Nike, Lucozade and PACE Sports Management. 

Achievements

Mo Farah

Mo Farah. Photo/ The Nairobi Review

Farah is the second athlete to win the 5,000 m and the 10,000 m titles at two consecutive Olympic games, after Viren Lasse. He won the gold medals at the 2012 and the 2016 Olympic games.

The long-distance runner is the most successful athlete in individual events in the championships’ history, with five gold medals. 

Farah has won many awards, including the European Athlete of the Year and the British Athletics Writers Association British Athlete of the Year. He won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2017. 

In 2013, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire and knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2017.

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