04 April, 2020

Grand Prix Gold: Mo’s 3000m magic

  • Farah celebrates his brilliant Diamond League triumph in the glorious Birmingham sunshine

Two months ahead of his double Olympic defence, Mo Farah provided a timely reminder of his Rio intentions with a blistering British record in the men’s 3000m in Birmingham.

To warm the hearts of athletics fans at this challenging time, we’re taking a look back at some of the magical moments in the recent history of Diamond League events held in the UK.


As one of Britain’s greatest ever athletes, Sir Mo boasts a collection of standout moments, including this stunning performance which earned him the sixth national record of his glittering career.


Building blocks to stardom


Having established himself as one of the world’s leading distance runners at the turn of the decade, Farah was working towards the defence of his 5000m and 10,000m Olympic titles by the time the British Grand Prix came around in June 2016.


The now 37-year-old burst on to the scene with double European gold in 2010, before moving to the USA early the following year in a bid to enhance his Olympic ambitions with London 2012 firmly on the horizon.


A gold and silver at the Daegu 2011 World Championships, and a third European gold in Helsinki followed, before Farah wrote his name into British folklore by claiming a brilliant Olympic double with titles in both the 5000m and 10,000m, with the latter forming part of Team GB’s ‘Super Saturday’.


Following his London 2012 exploits, Farah continued to go from strength to strength in 2013, breaking the 16-year-old European 1500m record - and with it Steve Cram’s 28-year-old British record - while also picking up double gold at the Worlds in Moscow.


Farah successfully defended both his world crowns in Beijing in 2015, a year after picking up double European gold in Zurich, and the British two mile record in Birmingham.


Having also claimed the indoor two-mile world record and the European half marathon record in 2015, Farah entered Olympic year as the man to beat, and after running his third-fastest ever 10,000m to open up his season in style in Eugene, Birmingham was braced for something special.


On top of the world


Ahead of the sixth Diamond League meeting of 2016, Farah had outlined his intention to ‘give something back to the fans’, and he duly delivered with a determined display that would not have appeared out of place in an Olympic final.


Having followed the pacemakers through 1000m in 2:30.88 and 2000m in 5:01.75, Farah left the rest of the field behind in the race’s closing stages, as he went for glory in the Midlands sunshine.


Roared on by a vociferous, capacity crowd, Farah dug in on the final lap to cross the line in 7:32.62 to break the 34-year-old record set by David Moorcroft by 0.17s, a time that had been set in the year before Farah was born.


Owing to how close the two times were, it was left to the BBC’s Phil Jones to deliver the news that Farah was now the British record holder over the 1500m, two miles, 3000m, 5000m, 10,000m and half-marathon distances.


“I didn’t know I had got the British record when I crossed the line,” Farah said. “I thought I had just missed it.


“I was a bit tired on the last lap but I knew I had to dig in. I was always targeting the record and I knew it was on at 2km.


“Training has been going pretty well and I am in a good place, but I have to make sure I don’t overcook it and be sensible [ahead of the Olympic Games].”


Establishing greatness


Following his dazzling performance in Birmingham, Farah went on to set a world-leading time in the 5000m in London, the final Diamond League meeting before the Olympic Games in Brazil.


There, he successfully defended both his 5000m and 10,000m titles, becoming only the second person is history to do so - after Finland’s Lasse Virén - subsequently confirming his status as one of the country’s greatest ever sports stars.


In 2017, Farah took home gold and silver in the 10,000m and 5000m respectively at the World Championships in London, before retiring from the track following wins in the Diamond League in Birmingham and Zurich.


Since then, he has focused on road events, claiming the British marathon record in 2018 with victory in the Chicago marathon, his inaugural gold medal over the distance.


However, in late 2019 Farah announced his plan to return to the track to defend his 10,000m Olympic title, with his marathon career temporarily on hold while he focuses on track-orientated training.


Tickets are still available for the IAAF Diamond League meet HERE