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UK Athletics

farah set for warm reception at season opener in birmingham

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Mo Farah British Athletics Grand Prix press conference 2013

15 February 2013

Double Olympic Champion Mo Farah (coach:Alberto Salazar) answered questions from children at Lordswood Boy and Girls School today ahead of the British Athletics Grand Prix at Birmingham’s NIA tomorrow.

The 29 year old fielded questions from thirty children aged between 10 and 16 on topics as diverse as football, cats and Boris Johnson’s hair before he turned his attention to tomorrow’s 3,000m race, where he will take to the track for the first time in 2013.

Farah, who is also the current 5,000m World Champion, is excited to be back in the city where he broke the British Indoor record over two miles at last year’s Grand Prix.

“I always enjoy competing at home because I get a lot more support. I like Birmingham, the crowd really gets behind you and it’s a nice fast stadium so it should be good. Tomorrow is about trying to win the race - for me in 2013 I must win and it’s my first race.”

After a six-week altitude training camp in Kenya, Farah believes that he is in good shape heading into a year that includes the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, where he will be looking to defend the 5,000m title he won in Daegu in 2011.

“I’ve just back from six weeks in Kenya and training has gone really well. I’ve done some good training and some good mileage out there, so I think I’m a lot further on than I was.

“I’ve got to be more motivated now, because when you’re at the top people want to beat you and knock you down. All eyes are on you, so it’s important that I carry on training and stay on top. There’s the World Championships in August and I’d like to defend my 5,000m title and then come back and win the 10,000m title.”

Farah insists that the pressure of being a double Olympic Champion doesn’t alter the way he will approach his first race of the year.

“When everybody claps, I get a little bit nervous, but at the same time I want to go out there and give the people who come and see you what they deserve and hopefully win the race.

“The only pressure is what you put on yourself - I’m still the same old Mo. Yes I have the title, but nothing has changed for me. I enjoy it and as long as you think that and keep doing what you’re doing, with the right people in your life, it’s just another race.”

The British Athletics Grand Prix will be televised live on the BBC on Saturday 16th February.