LONDON (Reuters) – Mo Farah set the first world record of his glittering distance running career on Saturday when he established a new indoor two-mile mark in Birmingham.
Britain’s double Olympic champion at 5,000m and 10,000m produced a splendid individual tour de force at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix in the National Indoor Arena, clocking 8 minutes 3.40 seconds for the rarely-run distance.
Farah’s world best time surpassed by almost a second the previous record of 8min 04.35sec set by the great Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele at the same venue seven years ago.
The 31-year-old Farah had been involved in an unseemly row on social media with his British team mate Andy Vernon, which had dominated the build up to the race.
Yet Britain’s greatest distance runner, whose career has previously always been defined by titles not records, quickly put the controversy behind him.
He tracked Kenyan Paul Koech before hitting the front with seven laps to go and then went it alone to establish the first global mark of his career after a few near misses.
Farah ran a sub-four minute mile for the second half of the race, clocking 3:59.5.
“Thank you so much everyone for the great support. It’s great to do it on home soil with the crowd behind me all the way,” Farah told the crowd.
(Writing by Ian Chadband, editing by Pritha Sarkar)