Mo Farah is determined to continue winning medals as he places a breakthrough year behind him and turns his attention to London 2012.
Farah was crowned 5,000 metres champion at the World Championships in Daegu in August and also finished with the silver medal in the 10,000m, smashing his previous best sixth-place finish in 2007.
The 28-year-old will enter next year’s Olympics as one of Britain’s best medal hopes and is eager to continue the rapid improvement that has made him a global force in long distance running.
“I’ve already put this year behind me,” Farah said at last week’s launch of the ‘Mo Farah Foundation’. “I’m a world champion and no-one can take that away from me, but I don’t walk around thinking I’m world champion so I can eat chips or a burger. You have to stay disciplined.
“Hopefully I’ll just keep on improving, it’s not just about times – it’s about medals. In your career you want to collect as many as you can. I’m really excited about the Olympics. Now all I can think about is London 2012. I want to keep pushing myself and hopefully I’ll keep going up.”
Farah feels the decision to move his training base to Portland, United States, to work with new coach Alberto Salazar is the key to this year’s success. “When I decided to train in Portland I wasn’t thinking it will take the pressure off me,” he said. “It was genuinely to say ‘I’ve been finishing sixth or seventh, just half a second behind a medal, what can make the difference?’.
“Going the other side of the world to be coached by Alberto has definitely made that one or two per cent difference. I could easily have stayed in the UK with my family in a nice house. But I was willing to take a risk. To go through that and get it right has been amazing.
“To move my family there wasn’t easy, but as an athlete you have to make those sacrifices.” Farah is now in Kenya for a four-week training camp before returning to the UK to compete in the 1500m in Glasgow.
Born in Mogadishu, Farah went to the UK when he was eight and wants to use his profile to help combat the famine after spending two weeks there in September. “Seeing the situation touched me. I wanted to do something. When I became a world champion I thought I could do something. There are 3.2 million people there starving.
“A lot of people associate me with Somalia and I just want to do something. Around $6,000 is enough to build a well to support a village. We aim to build at least 10 of those wells in the next 12 months alone.
“We aim to provide enough food to feed at least 2,000 kids for a month. That’s just a starting point for us.”