Britain's Mo Farah confirmed his status as the 3000m gold medal favorite for next month's European Indoor Championships with a sensational 7:34.47 clocking at today's Aviva Grand Prix at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.
Farah, 25, who represents adidas and the Newham & Essex Beagles, lowered his own British record, set just last month in Glasgow when he won the Aviva International Match in 7:40.99. He is now the second-fastest European of all time, behind only Spain's Alberto García who ran 7:32.98 in Sevilla in 2003. Meet organizers paid him a USD 5000 bonus for a new U.K. record, the fastest by a European this year.
"2008 was a bit of a disappointment, so I wanted to come out hard in 2009 and I did that with two British records in the space of a month," Farah told UK Athletics. "I've been training really hard and I'm really pleased with the way things went. It was a good race today, I really enjoyed it. It's my last race now until Turin."
At the 2007 European Indoor Championships, held on the same NIA track, Farah was tripped by Austria's Günther Weidlinger and fell in his preliminary heat. Tumbling hard to the track, Farah became disoriented and actually began to run in the opposite direction after getting up, before turning around to rejoin the race.
"This guy clipped my leg and I went down," Farah told Race Results Weekly after the race. "When I went down the Spanish guy (European 5000m champion Jesus España) picked up the pace." He added: "I don't know what happened, personally."
Despite the fall, Farah ran 7:55.36 to qualify for the final the following day. His energy sapped, he finished a disappointing fifth in the final.
Kenya's Shedrack Korir finished second in today's race in 7:38.61, while Briton Nick McCormick set a personal best 7:50.50 in third.