• ESPN Sports Personality of the Year

Mo Farah - British record breaker

ESPN staff
December 15, 2010

At No. 8 in our list for ESPN Sports Personality of the Year is a man who ran so fast after getting married that he broke a British record.

If one was to ask Mo Farah for his highlight of the year, he would likely point to his April marriage to long-time partner Tania Nell (particularly if his bride was standing within the same four walls you would imagine).

However, for an athlete who puts personal progression on a higher pedestal than simply winning races, 2010 was a huge 12 months for Farah. No doubt inspired by the looming 2012 London Olympics, the 27-year-old added double European gold to his collection in addition to smashing record landmarks in the British record books.

The momentum started in May at the Bupa London 10,000m race, where Farah outsprinted Kenya's world record holder Micah Kogo to clinch victory by five seconds. Success was sweet but the time was so much more satisfactory, as the Somalia-born runner posted a new British road record of 27:44.00s.

That marker was impressive, but just a week later at the European Cup, Farah was at it again, shaving almost 16 seconds off his previous track best with a time of 27:28.86s.

Two months later Farah wrote yet more headlines, making history in British athletics. Never before had a male British athlete claimed gold in the 10,000m event at the European Championships. On July 27, Farah changed that statistic, kicking with 300m remaining for the first major title of his career.

Four days later he was at it again, this time adding the European 5,000m gong to his collection, making him a dual champion at the event. "It wasn't easy," commented Farah, who became the first man in the 20 years to achieve the European 5000m/10,000m double. "I worked so hard for it and I can't believe I'm double champion - if you'd have said this to me three months ago then I would have settled for that."

Farah's brilliant year was not quite over though. Less than three weeks later, at the Zurich Diamond League meeting, he became the first Briton to run the 5000m in under 13 minutes. Crossing the line in 12:57.94s, he obliterated the 28-year-old British record set by David Moorcroft.

"I've been waiting for this for so long," said Farah. "For the last four years it's been there and thereabouts. I knew it would come soon but I didn't know how soon. I'm just over the moon. To go under 13 minutes is an awesome feeling. When David Moorcroft ran that time, it was a world record, so that shows you how much athletics has moved forward."

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