Many athletes have been able to dig deep when it matters the most over the years, securing a medal that we otherwise would’ve thought to have been impossible. With people like Mo, though, we always expected greatness and the man himself was able to deliver over the course of what has been a truly sensational track career.
What began in the late 1990s as a young lad with Mo traveling the world trying to prove himself turned into one of the most remarkable success stories that British Athletics has ever seen. Farah was once an ‘ultimate underdog’ who many feared would forever be the bridesmaid, but that title didn’t last for long and was eventually replaced with the term ‘champion’.
“Birmingham is definitely up there. I remember breaking the record here at two miles, and I’ve always competed at Birmingham whether it’s indoors or outdoors. One year we had the European indoors and I fell over and ran the wrong way, so I’ve got all kinds of memories.”
The 34-year-old has been flirting with the idea of transitioning into marathon races for quite some time now, and we all knew that sooner rather than later he was going to pull the trigger. Alas, his impressive performance at London proved to be the last in a parade of great efforts on the biggest stage, and it did nothing to dent what is a tremendous sporting legacy.
Birmingham, as Mo told us himself when chatting to us following this weekend’s Diamond League meeting, has always held a special place in the runner’s heart and it seemed only fitting that his farewell on British soil came in the second city.
— CLICKON Sports (@CLICKONSports) August 20, 2017
It was about as poetic as you could ever hope to get with Farah racing away from the pack to claim the 3000m title once more, before handing his top to 25-year-old Andy Butchart in a ceremonial passing of the torch moment.
Cheesy? Not really, because from where we were sitting it was actually fairly iconic. Mo has been battered with queries and questions that focus on controversies as opposed to hard facts, and when it boils down to it the four-time Olympic Champion has proven himself time and time again without fail.
“For me as an athlete to come back year after year, keep fighting, keep improving, and to have that long career has been amazing. Going into the marathon I feel like there’s not much pressure really, it’s just the pressure that I put on myself.
I wanna be able to relax, chill and not have a target on my back and be thinking this or that. Obviously, I would like to run well, but at the same time I want to be more chilled and relaxed.”
It’s no secret that there are doubters out there much like there is with anyone at the top of their respective field, but that’s not the angle we should take here. Instead let’s remember when he powered home to victory in London, Beijing, Moscow and even Rio because right now that’s the living legacy of this great athlete.
Farah won’t be disappearing out of the spotlight just yet despite informing us of his holiday plans, and now we’ve all got another reason to tune into the Great North Run and beyond. Alongside Usain Bolt, Mo has been able to leave the game as a triumphant hero and that’s all you can really ask for.