ATHLETICS: Twitter row spurs Mo Farah to new world record

Mo Farah celebrates setting a new world record at the Sainsbury's Indoor Grand Prix at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
Mo Farah celebrates setting a new world record at the Sainsbury's Indoor Grand Prix at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham

Mo Farah credited his explosive row with Great Britain team-mate Andy Vernon for inspiring him to the first world record of his career - and then declared the feat had made him hungry for more.

The double Olympic champion was roared to a new world indoor best of eight minutes 03.40 seconds over two miles at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday.

The 31-year-old, whose public feud with Vernon had dominated the build-up to the event at the Barclaycard Arena, let his legs do the talking as wiped more than a second off Kenenisa Bekele’s previous mark.

He sat on the shoulder of Kenya’s Paul Koech before hitting the front with seven laps to go and pulling clear.

From then on it was Farah against the clock and he came home comfortably inside Bekele’s time of 8mins 04.35secs, which the Ethiopian great set at the same meeting seven years ago.

Farah said: “So many times I have been asked, ‘Am I ever going to break a world record’, so it’s nice to say I’ve done it now.

“I want to be back on the track, that’s where I belong.

“It (the row with Vernon) inspired me, I wanted to do it. Whatever’s happened has happened, we’ve got to move on, but at the same time I’m an athlete, that’s what I do best. I just have to keep running.”

Farah’s previous indoor best over two miles, the European record from 2012, had stood at 8:08.07.

But, fired up by his feud with Vernon, which saw Somali-born Farah’s claims his team-mate questioned his nationality branded “lies” by his rival, he went through the first mile in 4:03.9 and the last one in 3:59.5.

The duo’s disagreement had become public on Tuesday when Vernon criticised the strength of the field Farah faced in Birmingham and in truth the clock was the Londoner’s only real opponent.

Vernon congratulated Farah on Twitter, saying: “Everything aside that was a cracking run @Mo_Farah. Congratulations on the new WR.”

But asked if he had a message for Vernon, Farah said: “No, at the end of the day whatever’s done is done. I just have to move on.

“I think it’s too soon to say anything right now. I’ve moved on and put that behind me. I want to keep running well.”

Farah, who has five global track titles over 5,000 and 10,000 metres, said the record had given him the taste for more outdoors.

“Definitely, it’s about setting myself a goal and knowing what I want out of the year,” said Farah, whose personal bests over 5,000m and 10,000m are some way off Bekele’s world records.

“It’s two different things going for a world record or going for a championship.

“I shouldn’t get carried away, it’s only two miles indoors, but at the same time it would be nice to be able to do what I can do for 10k, if I can go close or break it.

“But I will never give up (on championships). I want to be able to know I collected as many medals as I could for my country.”