When the going gets tough, Mo Farah gets going

The Somali-born British long distance runner has etched his name into the record books and seems to have what it takes to be a legend.

Who Is Mo Farah?

JOHANNES EISELE / AFP

British distance runner. Competes in 5K and 10K metres, but has run from 1500m to the marathon. Gold medallist in 5000m and 10000m at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Completed the double at 2013 World Championships in Athletics and European Athletics Championships in 2010 and 2014 and was also the first British male winner in all those events.

Notable Achievements

Farah came into recognition in March 2009, when he won the European Indoor Championships in Turin. Noted commentator Steve Cram once called his performance as the best by a British distance runner for a generation. The rest as they say, became history.

Fitness Issues?

ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP

Farah has won many a medal but there have been certain fitness issues. In the 2009 European Cross Country Championships, he finished second but was unable to attend the medal ceremony as he collapsed after the race. A similar incident occurred at the BO Classic at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country when Farah needed medical attention once again. The tests revealed low levels of iron and magnesium. However, that was about it. This made Farah even more determined and what followed next was unbelievable.

A String Of Victories

It is said that winning is a habit. Farah seems to have perfected that. His consistency came into note in 2010 when he won 5 straight events. In fact, from 2010, he has participated in 19 events and has not finished first only in 4. The last 10 of those wins have come in succession.

What Makes Him So Different?

WANG ZHAO / AFP

Different athletes have different styles of running. Some start slowly, then build up pace. Some have great stamina. Farah’s running style is described as bouncy and tactical but the best part is, he keeps on altering it for efficiency and to save energy. In cricket, a quality batsman is one who adjusts to different formats of the game – Tests, ODIs and T20Is. Similar case for Farah in running. In long distance races, Mo usually maintains a fast pace, though he doesn’t strive for it. However, he sprints towards the end. This is of course normal in all athletes, but Farah has it in better quantity. The sprint ability also helps him do well in shorter running events.

Bad Times

Life is never easy. No, this is not philosophy but reality. Mo Farah had to face it too. In 2012, he was accused of taking drugs and his failure to appear in a couple of drug tests raised more suspicions. That was perhaps the toughest time in his career and for his family as well. That started to show on his performances which started to become inconsistent and questions were asked about his retirement. But after finishing first in both, the 5000m and 10000m events in the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, the champion has bounced back in true style and is already looking forward to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

As the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Need we say more?

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