Tag Archive: Mo Farah

Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Dwain Chambers will be leading a 39-strong British squad brimming with talent and promise for the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, held between 9 to 11 March, as announced by UK Athletics earlier on.

New vault sensation Holly Bleasdale, Nigel Levine, Robbie Grabarz and Tiffany Porter are among other genuine medal contenders called up on the team but Doha silver medallist Jenny Meadows has lost her race against time to make the championships, with Jeanette Kwakye apparently a late casualty as well.

The arena that will host the World Indoor Championships between 9 and 11 March

If there have been any surprises, in what must have been one of the easiest ever sessions of the selection panel, that has got to be the announcement of Christine Ohuruogu and Perri Shakes-Drayton in the women’s long relay, having not raced indoors at all this term, while Nicola Sanders has also opted to pull her weight into a strong medal-bidding team.

New UK U20 record holder Katie Byres will be blooded in top senior action in the pole vault, looking to gather priceless experience ahead of London, where Jodie Williams doubles the presence of U20s on the side as she comes in late to snatch a berth in the stead of Kwakye.

Andrew Robertson, JJ Jegede and Andrew Sutcliffe have also been provisionally picked subject to obtaining the required standard as late as February 27 – the IAAF deadline.

The British team has as follows:


60m Dwain Chambers, Andy Robertson*
400m Nigel Levine, Richard Buck
800m Joe Thomas, Andrew Osagie
1500m Lewis Moses, James Brewer
3000m Mo Farah
60mh Andy Pozzi
HJ Samson Oni, Robbie Grabarz
PV Steve Lewis, Andrew Sutcliffe*
LJ JJ Jegede*
4x400m Nigel Levine, Richard Buck, Conrad Williams, Michael Bingham, James Forman, Luke Lennon Ford


60m Asha Philip, Jodie Williams
400m Shana Cox, Nadine Okyere
800m Marilyn Okoro
3000m Helen Clitheroe
60mh Tiffany Porter
PV Holly Bleasdale, Katie Byres
LJ Shara Proctor
TJ Yamile Aldama
Pentathlon Jessica Ennis
4x400m Shana Cox, Nadine Okyere, Nicola Sanders, Christine Ohuruogu, Perri Shakes-Drayton, Laura Langowski

*Subject to gaining qualifying standard


In the aura of anticipated pulsating end-to-end action and stirring contests on the track and the infield, there are several British matters to be settled at the AVIVA Grand Prix in Birmingham today either in terms of challenging national records or clinching late places on the British team for Istanbul incorporated in.

So let’s have a look through what could be on offer in a few hours, starting with potential bids for UK records.

Men’s 2 miles

It’s hard to see how John Mayock‘s landmark of 8:17.06, set on this very arena 10 years ago, can possibly survive the onslaught of Mo Farah, save some disaster, or Emiel Puttemans (BEL) haunted European record of 8:13.2 (1973) come to that. The world 5000m champion is in frightening shape and overflowing with pace so has got to run over those marks and even force his way inside the territory of the very great, 8:10 that is.

The finale of the meeting has been specially reserved for his venture and he will enjoy some quality company along in his quest in the shape of Eliud Kipchoge (KEN), Tariku Bekele (ETH) and Moses Kipsiro (UGA).

Jonny Mellor, Stephen Davies and Mark Mitchell get a rare opportunity to race against such calibre opposition and could seriously revise their record books either over the full distance or at 3000m.

Women’s Pole Vault

Every time Holly Bleasdale steps into an arena the UK record simply lies on the line and so should be the case today. Some late technical tweaks to her vaulting model must have bedded in a lot more by now and something around 4.90m has got to be well on the cards today.

It’s a shame that German Sielke Spiegelburg (4.77) has pulled out of the contest late as she could have provided some hot competition up to dizzy heights but hopefully former world champion Anna Rogowska could step into her stead in that regard.

A further UK record, an U20 one, could be looked for in Katie Byres but beyond the British shores in France as she will be attempting to rewrite her 4.37m from the UK Trials in Sheffield last weekend.

Women’s Long Jump

Long has endured time Susan Heanshaw‘s 6.70m, set twice in winning gold at the European Indoor Championships in 1984, and even survived by the skin of its teeth when Jo Wise tied it at the World Indoor Championships in 1997 but its time to make way may have finally come as Shara Proctor indicated through an indoor best just a couple of centimetres shy last weekend.

She has been very consistent in the 6.6m province this term, ranging therein in all her three outings, and if she clicks on the day a mark in the high 6.7m region shouldn’t be ruled out.

Men’s High Jump

Robbie Grabarz has made talk of targetting Steve Smith‘s mighty record of 2.38m but it is maybe very early for that to arrive today even though his clearance over his PB of 2.34m suggested there is more to come. Smith was jumping regularly around 2.34 to 2.37m in his time so such a platform may be required. Nevertheless, nothing can be dismissed but the World Indoor Championships look like a more likely occasion to challenge heights in that sphere.

Samson Oni is in that one too and will be eyeing to rewrite his PB of 2.31m, which he has tied this winter, against some good field involving Donald Thomas (BAH), Andra Manson (USA) and Michal Kabelka (SVK).

Women’s 3000m

Helen Clitheroe could have an outside chance of replacing Jo Pavey at the top of the UK indoor lists with the British barrier lying at 8:31.50 from Stuttgart five years ago. She has wintered superbly and goes off a substantially better starting-point of 8:45.59, set in Glasgow last month, than last year when she set her PB of 8:39.81 en route to winning the European title in Paris.

Moving over to run-offs for places in Istanbul now, so let’s see what could lie in store in the following events.

Men’s 60m

Following the withdrawals of Simeon Williamson and Mark Lewis-Francis, the battle for the second spot alongside Dwain Chambers narrows down to Andrew Robertson and Harry Aikines-Ayreety, the runner-up and third-placed at the UK Trials respectively, who face off with each other in the second heat.

It’s a tricky situation as Robertson will not only need to hold off his rival but also dip inside his week-old PB of 6.61 secs even by a mere hundredth. Otherwise, Aikines-Ayreety could snatch a place even in the event of a defeat as he holds the qualifying standard from last winter.

Asafa Powell, Lerone Clarke, Nesta Carter and Michael Frater make up a poweful Jamaican quartet to fight it out for top honours and fast times while evergreen Kim Collins will be hoping that his hamstring will last the demanding task of two fast rounds, having pulled up in both his previous two outings.

Men’s 400m

The virtual run-off will be, sadly, accommodated in the national race that kicks off the meeting’s schedule and inevitably slip outside TV coverage. UK Trials runner-up Michael Bingham lies in a similar position as Robertson in the 60m since he needs to find a time inside 46.90 secs and beat Rirhard Buck again, the latter looking more flowing but often having run into sorts of troubles in his races.

Therefore, it is going to be touch-and-go while none should rule out a late stunner by Conrad Williams who has shown very sharp in the shorter sprints this season – and Luke Lennon-Ford might spring a surprise having been shifted to the main race alonside Nigel Levine.

Men’s 1500m

Andy Baddeley is more likely opt for the 3000m by the look of his racing pattern so James Brewer has got the simple task of showing his form to be named alongside also-competing Lewis Moses and he’s capable of more than that, having displayed potential to go under 3:40.

Men’s 60m hurdles

Lawrence Clarke needs just the qualifying time to make the cut and is lying an agonising 0.03 secs off dreamland (7.65). Could he do it?

Andy Pozzi has got the chance to take his game inside 7.6 secs on the back of an amazingly consistent season in the wake of a mighty contest brewing up between hurdles heavyweights Dayron Robles (CUB) and Xiang Liu (CHN), although none should discount latest American find Kevin Craddock.

Women’s 60m

Following the withdrawal of sensational Jodie Williams (food poisoning), Asha Philip should not have much trouble clinching that second spot, provided she doesn’t slip into any unnecessary mistake, and has shown the credentials to drive even under 7.2 secs.

Laura Turner will have to run out of her skin to upset her lining up in the same heat whereas Jeanette Kwakye won’t have any such concerns and set her eyes on improving her SB of 7.20 secs from last weekend.

Women’s 400m

Normally, Nicola Sanders shouldn’t be interested in anything more than probably a relay place for Istanbul as she is employing a short indoor stint by means of a gauge of her build-up so Nadine Okyere would occupy the remaining spot behind Shana Cox regardless of the result, but until that is confirmed this duel can be also considered as a run-off.

Boston doesn’t seem to favour Mo Farah as he stumbled over a most unforeseen obstacle conjured up in his way to meet with defeat for a second time in as many visits to the ‘green’ capital of Massachusetts.

Last year it was a stunning last 200m in 26.2 secs by one-spike shoed Dejen Gebremeskiel (ETH) in the 3000m to deny him and this time round disaster struck hardly 120m into the race, having stepped down as overwhelming favourite to claim the mile.

As fortune would have it, it was fellow Briton James Brewer, back racing well after a frustrating two years in the twighlight, that inadvertedly caught Farah’s leg from behind for the world 5000m champion to tumble on the track, blowing away whatever chances of challenging Peter Elliott‘s long-holding UK indoor record of 3:52.02 (1990).

Showing character and his racing insticts, he was quickly back on his feet to chase and swiftly haul back into the thick of the action, involving new partner Ciaran O’Lionaird (IRL) and loyal companion Gallen Rupp (USA) under coach Alberto Salazar.

But the early fall and exertion to make up the lost ground took its toll in the late stages as he could not keep up with the top trio, made up by Canadian Taylor Milne, when Rupp wound up the pace making a long run for home around 400m out.

Daevu finalist O’Lionaird, stalking the American, sensed his chance and grabbed it with both hands as he swept past with about 140m to spare (3:40.65 at 1500) and pulled away round the last bend to a convincing victory in 3:56.01, a total PB, to inaugurate a new chapter in his career in grand manner.

Milne followed through for runner-up (3:40.85 1500m) behind the ‘Mullet’ Irishman in also a total best of 3:56.40 while Rupp held on for third in a PB of 3:57.10 (3:40.98 1500m) and Farah still managed an indoor best of 3:57.92 (3:41.90 1500m), yet anything but the speed polishing he was looking for.

Hopefully, that unfortunate turn won’t affect his build-up to assault the British record over the 2-miler in Birmingham in two weeks neither Brewer’s own chances as he dropped out despite a strong first half into the race, possibly also feeling some effects out of the incident himself.

As an aside, the pace set at 800m (1:58.4) would have hardly set the ground for Farah to challenge Elliott’s mark anyway.

Jenn Suhr clears a new US indoor landmark of 4.88m

Andy Baddeley, by contrast, consolidated a return to form as he made the most of a blistering pace in the men’s 3000m to draw well inside the qualifying standard for Istanbul in 7:47.09, an indoor best and new UK leading mark to replace Chris Thompson at the top.

The Harrow miler, gaining a solid foothold for selection, came an eventual eighth in a scintillating contest that saw Kenyan Kaleb Ndiku deny Gebremeskiel a second win in a row in 7:38.29 against 7:38.97, with Silas Kiplagat (KEN) third in 7:41.02 – slotting in the three top places in the global rankings this term.

Canadian Cameron Levins set a second big PB of 7:45.75 on the trot to grab a creditable fifth and afford further credit to Chris Thompson‘s 7:49.14, having outrun the Briton in Seattle the previous weekend.

But it was another disappointing evening for Mark Draper who hasn’t managed to transfer his country form onto the track, pulling out for a non-finish.

Kirani James storms to a global-leading 45.96 secs over 400m

Charlene Thomas raced her way a further step closer to full fitness and sharpness as she ran a debut of 2:40.03 for fifth (2:07.64 at 800m), losing a place round the last lap, over the rare 1000m as Moroccan Btissam Lakhouad overhauled Morgan Uceny (USA) in impressive manner to clinch victory in 2:38.15 against 2:38.44, with Anna Pierce filling the last top three spot in 2:38.91.

The highlight of the meeting came from the infield, nevertheless, as a resurgent Jenn Suhr, back to her natural dark colour hair, rose equal to a new US indoor record of 4.88m in a superb first-time effort, edging second in the indoor all-time lists ahead of Holly Bleasdale in the process.

The American then opted to raise the bar to a potential indoor world record of 5.01, failing all three times, as the event is slipping through the gears towards a breakthrough into uncharted territories on the early indications of the season.

Grenadian prodigy Kirani James powered to an additional world-leader of 45.96 secs in the men’s 400m well ahead of late-bloomer Joshua Scott (USA), who set a SB of 46.40 secs, and former outdoor world bronze medallist Renny Quow (TRI) in a rare indoor outing of 46.70 secs (indoor best).

The youngster made a forceful early statement of his intentions in view of the Olympics as he will be expecting a backlash on the part of the Americans, particularly in the frame of Lashawn Merritt and Jeremy Warriner.

Maggie Vessey outleaned former heptathlete Erica Moore, the winner in Glasgow, in a nailbiting women’s 800m as both crossed the line in an identical time of 2:02.37 whereas the Ethiopians dominated the longer distances by means of lone rides out in front by stars Tirunesh Dibaba in 9:21.60 over 2 miles, winning by nearly a full lap, and Meseret Defar in 8:33.57 over 3000m, both topping the global lists.

Gotytom Gebreslase, cited as just 17, followed on in second in a massive PB of 8:46.01 to suggest a new rising hot prospect out of the Ethiopian production line narrowly ahead of Moroccan Siham Hilali in 8:46.17 (PB), with Sarah Hall (USA) fourth in 8:54.75 (SB) and world 1500m champion Jenny Simpson seventh in 9:58.70 (SB).

Elsewhere, Adam Nelson romped to a comfortable win in the shot with a 21.27m put to go third in the world while David Oliver made no mistake to edge out Aries Merritt for a return on a winning trail in 7.60 to 7.62 secs, with Myrielle Ahoure (CIV) taking a clear top place in the dash in 7.13 secs ahead of American-turned-Nigerian Gloria Asumnu in 7.20 secs.

Full Results



The curtain-drawer of the meeting was reserved for Mo Farah who responded with a massive win over Augustine Choge in the 1500m

Mark Lewis-Francis powers to a winning start over Kim Collins in the 60m

Joe Thomas destroys the field in the men’s 800m



60m 1.Mark Lewis-Francis 6.65 (SB), 2.Kim Collins (SKN) 6.66 (SB), 3.Christian Blum (GER) 6.67, 4.Ivory Williams (USA) 6.69

200m 1.Danny Talbot 21.17 (SB, UKL), 2.Kim Collins (SKN) 21.39 (SB), …, 4.Calvin Smith Jr (USA) 21.71 (SB)

400m 1.Pavel Trenikhin (RUS) 46.68 (SB, EL), 2.Chris Brown (BAH) 47.42 (SB), 3.Jamaal Torrance (USA) 47.46 (SB), 4.Richard Buck 47.63 (SB, UKL)

800m 1.Joe Thomas 1:47.35 (iPB, UKL), 2.Soren Ludolph (GER) 1:49.14 (SB), …, 4.Boaz Lalang (KEN) 1:49.97 (SB)

1500m 1.Mo Farah 3:39.03 (iPB, EL), 2.Augustine Choge (KEN) 3:39.14 (SB), 3.Valentin Smirnov (RUS) 3:39.89 (iPB), 4.Karsten Schlangen (GER) 3:41.37 (SB)

60mh 1.Konstantin Shabanov (RUS) 7.54 (PB, EL), 2.Dexter Faulk (USA) 7.60 (SB), 3.Lawrence Clarke 7.67 (PB),.., 5.Andy Turner 7.74 (SB)

HJ 1.Aleksandr Shustov (RUS) 2.29, 2.Andra Manson (USA) 2.26, 3.Robbie Grabarz 2.26,…, 5.Donald Thomas (BAH) 2.20

PV 1.Karsten Dilla (GER) 5.72 (ePB), 2.Dmitriy Starodubtsev (RUS) 5.60, 3.Andrew Sutcliffe (U23) 5.40, 4.Steve Lewis 5.30


60m 1.Jeanette Kwakye 7.26 (UKL, SB), 2.Yasmin Kwadwo (GER) 7.46 (SB), 3.Virgil Hodge (SKN) 7.51 (SB), …, 5.Angela Williams (USA) 7.59 (SB)

200m 1.Margaret Adeyoe 23.68 (PB), 2.Cathlin Tschirch (GER) 23.70 (SB), 3.Candice McGrown (USA) 24.22 (SB)

400m 1.Julia Terekhova (RUS) 53.51 (PB), 2.Natasha Hastings (USA) 53.54 (SB), 3.Shana Cox 53.84 (SB), …, 5.Shelayna Oskan-Clarke 55.37 (SB)

800m 1.Erica Moore (USA) 2:02.86 (PB), 2.Yekaterina Martynova (RUS) 2:03.55 (SB), …, 5.Claire Gibson 2:08.16 (SB)

1500m 1.Denise Krebs (GER) 4:23.09 (SB), 2.Hannah England 4:23.11 (SB), 3.Irina Maracheva (RUS) 4:26.32 (SB), 4.Charlene Thomas 4:26.53 (iPB)

3000m 1.Helen Obiri (KEN) 8:42.59 (SB), 2.Helen Clitheroe 8:45.59 (SB,EL), 3.Korina Harrer (GER) 9:02.64 (PB)

60mh 1.Danielle Carruthers (USA) 8.09 (SB), 2.Cindy Roleder (GER) 8.11 (SB), 3.Tatyana Dektaryeva (RUS) 8.14 (SB), .., 5.Gemma Bennett 8.16 (SB)

LJ 1.Darya Klishina (RUS) 6.75 (SB), 2.Shara Proctor 6.59 (SB), 3.Bianca Stuart (BAH) 6.38, 4.Bianca Kappler (GER) 6.36, 5.Fummi Jimoh (USA) 6.24

TJ 1.Yamile Aldama 14.03 (SB, UKL), 2.Kristin Gierisch (GER) 13.89 (SB), …, 4.Laura Samuel 13.07 (SB)

Full Results


(More later…)

Mo Farah is headlining the first British outfit in action into the Olympic season at the AVIVA International Match on Saturday as he is stepping down for an opening sharpener over the odd 1500m on the track of Kelvin Hall, Glasgow.

He is faced with a stern challenge in the face of Augustine Choge, holding a PB of 3:29.47 outdoors (2009), and it will be interesting to see how he tackles the race and the pace of the Kenyan.

The world 5000m champion will be also lining up in the mile in Boston over further speedwork later on before he launches his attack on the British and European records in the 2-miler in Birmingham next month.

Deagu silver medallist Hannah England, European indoor 3000m champion Helen Clitheroe,  both returning from Kenya just prior to the meeting, Beijing finalist Jeanette Kwakye, European 100m runner-up Mark Lewis-Francis and Daegu finalist Yamile Aldama will be making their season premieres, as will birthday girl Shana Cox and Shara Proctor coming over from across the Pond.

Global bronze medallist Andy Turner, nursing a slight achilles niggle, will be out to move up a couple of gears on a low-key opener of 7.79 secs at Crystal Palace midway last week while high jump new star Robbie Grabarz is going to draw plenty of the spotlight, as well as hopefully new heights, in a battle against former world champion Donald Thomas (BAH) and top Russian Aleksandr Shustov.

Steve Lewis goes in the pole vault up against season’s top marker Dmitriy Starodubtsev (RUS, 5.90m) having got off to a decent opener of 5.50m off 16 strides in Cottbus, Germany, on Wednesday.

One should also keep an eye on Joe Thomas as the Welshman ran a solo Istanbul qualifier of 1:47.82 from the off in Cardiff last weekend and looks set for great improvements into the season, facing top Kenyan Boaz Lalang.

The British team, as follows, are facing line-ups from the USA, Russia, Germany and a Commonwealth Select side captained by evergreen Kim Collins (SKN) in what has been a long-time formal curtain-drawer for the indoor season.


60m Mark Lewis Francis
200m Danny Talbot
400m Richard Buck
800m Joe Thomas
1500m Mo Farah
60mh Andy Turner
HJ Robbie Grabarz
PV Steve Lewis


60m Jeanette Kwakye
200m Margaret Adeoye
400m Shana Cox
800m Claire Gibson
1500m Hannah England
3000m Helen Clitheroe
60mh Gemma Bennett
LJ Shara Proctor
TJ Yamile Aldama

Brits on the Commonwealth Select Team: Charlene Thomas (1500m), Lawrence Clarke (60mh), Andrew Sutcliffe (PV), Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (400m), Laura Samuel (TJ)

Timetable & Start-lists


Mo Farah in an excellent near two-minute-long commercial for Lucozade, one of the best I’ve seen. A slight ‘drawback’, the depicted race doesn’t quite square with his usual racing pattern… But definitely a very good watch!

After marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe, it’s the turn of global 5000m champion Mo Farah, who will be gunning to add the Olympic title to his pedigree in London, to appear in one of NIKE’s latest commercials under the motto ‘make it count’. The shoot has apparently taken place at a beautiful 400m track laid amidst the woods in magestic Oregon, recalling Chris Thompson winning an early season 3000m there two years ago.

Go Mo and Dai!


UK Athletics have released this video to back world champions Mo Farah and Dai Greene in view of the Sports Personality Of The Year awards to be held at Media City UK, Salford Quays on Thursday. May the force be with them that night as it was in their golden triumphs in Daegu and let’s all get behind them!

The final ten nominees vying for the prize are as follows and you could pick the one you would like to win:

Incidentally, Farah has won the Athletics Olympic Athlete of the year award presented by BOA, initiated in 2005, on flying back from the States especially to attend the SPOTY Awards. The full list has as below:



As promised by himself, here is Mo Farah‘s  new 10-minute long promotion clip, compiled and processed by Steve Lewis, that offers a flash look through all the stops of his incredible journey in 2011 that peaked in that memorable victory for global gold over 5000m at the World Championships in Daegu. Enjoy, it’s really excellent!

Middle distance great Steve Cram follows growing modern running legend Mo Farah through his first steps settling over the Pond in Oregon under the tutelage of renowned American coach Alberto Salazar , new established routines like the famous now ice-baths and as far as the race that raised him as a major distance force on the way to gold in Daegu; his triumph over 10000m at the Prefontaine Classic in a big European record of 26:46.57. Makes a really nice watch, with also a few glimpses of Katherine Merry beside Cram on the infield during the race.