RW Interviews: Mo Farah

Step aside head coach Alberto Salazar, the European 10,000m record holder Mo Farah reveals why his sternest critic is his six-year-old daughter Rihanna



mo farah, nike, deagu, iaaf, oregon project, Alberto Salazar

You won the New York Half-Marathon in March. When can we expect you to take on the marathon?

The marathon is something I've always wanted to do. The London Marathon is one of the greatest in the world. As a youngster I used to compete in the mini marathon, so I've already had a taste of what it would be like. I've also ran the Bupa London 10000, which will be the route used for the Olympic marathon - it'll be four laps of the course. After London 2012 I'll try to run the marathon at some point in my career, but I'm still not sure exactly when. Once I know I can't run any faster at the 5K or 10K, it'll be time to switch to the marathon.

Do you still meet athletes who make you star struck?

There are so many athletes who inspire me: Steve Ovett, Steve Cram and Paula Radcliffe for starters. Once you realise what it takes to be the best, you really admire those athletes for what they've achieved and for the fight it took to get those medals. I still regard those athletes as my role models.

I heard you say earlier at today's event that Paula supported you when you were a young athlete. How so?

When I was younger, she helped me to get a sponsorship that gave me money towards driving lessons. As a young athlete, one of the most exciting things is passing your test and to be able to drive yourself to training sessions. You never forget things like that. I always remember in 2006 at the European Championships, I saw her at the warm-up show and she came over to me and said, "Be strong, go out there and know you're the best." When you look up to someone, it's really overwhelming when you know they're on your side.

Can you see your six-year-old daughter Rihanna going into athletics?

I'd never push her into athletics, but if that's what she wants to do, I'll fully support her. She's very confident and she changes her mind everyday about what she wants to be: a singer, a dancer or a hairdresser. She enjoys sport though and she always expects me to win. If I don't win, I know she'll give me a hard time. Even if it's just a training run, I'll get back in and the first thing she'll say is, "Did you win?" You should see her face if I say no.

Which career path would you have chosen if it hadn't been for running?

I guess I would have just had a normal nine-to-five office job. I would have always been quite active and sporty outside of work. When I was younger I always wanted to play for Arsenal FC, but I don't think I was quite good enough. 

What's your ultimate career ambition?

To become an Olympic champion. Winning an Olympic medal is something you always train for and dream about - it's the ultimate prize.

British distance running ace Mo Farah appearing at a Nike event in London where he passed on advice to young track and field hopefuls. Mo Farah also received Arsenal FC inspired Nike Zoom Victory Spikes ahead of Friday's Crystal Palace Diamond League race.


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