Birmingham (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Britain’s double world and Olympic champion Mo Farah set a new indoor world record over two miles at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday.
The 31-year-old crossed the line in eight minutes 3.40 seconds to eclipse Kenenisa Bekele’s mark of 8min 04.35sec, which the Ethiopian great set at the same meeting seven years ago.
Farah sat on the shoulder of Kenya’s Paul Koech in the race’s early stages before striking out with seven laps to go and streaking home to shave almost a second off Bekele’s mark.
“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,” Farah said. “I want to be back on the track. That’s where I belong.”
Farah had become embroiled in a row with Great Britain team-mate Andy Vernon prior to the meeting and he claimed the spat had inspired him to break the record.
Farah reacted angrily when Vernon made a sarcastic remark on Twitter about the poor quality of the Birmingham field.
The row escalated when Somalia-born Farah claimed Vernon had told him he had not deserved to win last year’s European 10,000 metres title because he was not European, which Vernon strongly denied.
“It inspired me. I wanted to do it,” Farah said of the spat.
“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.”
Vernon offered Farah his congratulations on Twitter, saying: “Everything aside that was a cracking run @Mo_Farah. Congratulations on the new WR.”