All smiles - Mo Farah takes his first European outdoor gold in the Barcelona 10,000m (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Birmingham, UK

Farah focused on battle with the clock in Birmingham 5000m

Middle distance star Mo Farah has set his sights on the British record after announcing he will compete in the 5000m at the Aviva Grand Prix, the penultimate stop of the 2011 IAAF Permit Indoor Meetings series, in Birmingham next weekend (19).??

Farah returns to the National Indoor Arena hoping to produce a similar performance to the one he ran at the same event in 2009, where he set a new British 3000m record of 7:34.47, having sliced a huge 6.52 seconds off the record he set in Glasgow just three weeks before. ??The Aviva Grand Prix will be Farah’s second event of the indoor season - following his indoor performance in Boston this weekend - and just the second time he has competed on English soil after his amazing summer which saw him take gold in both the 5000m and 10,000m at the European Championships in Barcelona last July.??

Farah lines up in Birmingham against the likes of Kenyon duo Sammy Mutahi and Bethwell Birgen, as well as Galen Rupp of the USA, but pundits predict Farah’s real race will be against the clock, and the Newham and Essex Beagles star is reluctant to disagree.

“I look forward to competing at the Aviva Grand Prix,” he said. “I have really fond memories of Birmingham as I broke the British record there in the 3k in 2009, so I do look forward to competing in the city this time around.

??“I’m doing the 5k and I would really love to get close to the British record [13:21.27], that’s my goal. I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully we’ll see if I can make it work out there.??

“I’ve been in the US for a training camp and I'm feeling in really good shape. It was nice to get another block of training in before competing indoors.”??

Fresh from his exertions in Spain in the summer, Farah continued his memorable year with yet another British record in his grasp, breaking David Moorcroft’s 28-year-old record and becoming the first Britain to run 5000m sub 13-minutes with a time of 12:57.94 at the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Zurich in August.??

And Farah, who is yet to decide if he will travel to Paris in March to attempt to retain his European 3000m title, is refusing to put pressure on himself and insists the key to success in 2011 is enjoyment in the sport.??

“2010 was such a good year for me, to come away with two gold medals and a new British record was amazing. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, and in the last four years or so I’ve felt that I’ve been really close so it was great to finally pull it out of the bag.

??“Also this year, 2011, it’s always good to have a great year and then achieve something nice in the new year, which is what I did in Edinburgh in January. It was a great field and not an easy race so it’s nice to carry the winning through in to this year.

??“I don’t feel any pressure, it’s fantastic to have the public behind you and for them to see how well you’re doing. That part of the job is something that I really enjoy, well I love the whole thing – I love running, competing and giving it 100% at all times. It’s only the pressure that you put on yourself that you will feel, you always want to do well and do better and keep winning medals, that’s what it’s all about.”

Organisers for the IAAF