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Olympics star Mo Farah made a successful return to action at the Birmingham Grand Prix today

Updated: Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 19:37 | Comments

Mo Farah got a rapturous reception on his return to action at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix
Mo Farah got a rapturous reception on his return to action at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix

Olympics star Mo Farah revelled in his first taste of 'Mo Mania' on his return to action at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix today.

Not one of the near 13,000 fans cared that the 29-year-old was unable to break Steve Ovett's 34-year-old European outdoor two miles record as he won the race with considerable and predictable ease, bursting clear with 200 metres to go.

Farah clocked eight minutes 27.24 seconds over the rarely-run distance, well short of Ovett's mark of 8mins 13.51secs.

Farah, who won the 5,000 and 10,000 metres titles in London, was roared on to those successes by 80,000 screaming fans.

The surroundings at the Alexander Stadium were rather more modest, but he still received the loudest cheer of the afternoon and was begged by hoards of screaming fans for autographs by the track.

Tributes to the man could be seen around the stadium, including a wicker Farah in his trademark Mobot celebration, while a 'Mo Cam' went round the stands capturing fans doing the pose.

"It's been unbelievable," he said. "The crowd, I've never seen it like this before.

"I've never dreamed of it being like this with everyone behind you, the whole country. It's great support, it gives you a big boost and you feel like you can't let them down.

"You've got to go out there and win."

"I went to a restaurant the other day and someone came up and asked me to do the Mobot while I'm eating my food." - Mo Farah.

"I went to a restaurant the other day and someone came up and asked me to do the Mobot while I'm eating my food."

Fans have also been queuing at his local post box in his hometown of Teddington, which was painted gold to mark his Olympic triumph.

"There's a queue there all the time," he said. "The other day I was driving past and I opened my window and did the Mobot. I said: 'Here's Mo, I'm doing the Mobot'. People were laughing.

"I'm really enjoying it. All these people just appreciate it and they are very nice about it."

Farah, who headed back to London to be with his wife Tania and their new-born twins straight after the race, has gone quicker than Ovett's time indoors, in February this year, but he insisted the record was not on his mind today.

He said: "To be honest with you I've had a hard week with Tania giving birth.

"The other night I didn't get much sleep as well. Then I came up here, that wasn't easy.

"My main aim was just to come out here, win the race and not even think about any time.

"I've felt a bit tired to be honest. It's been hard.

"The Olympics was what I trained so hard for with all the miles week in, week out.

"I've just got one more race and then that will be it for me. Then I'm looking forward to taking my break and spending a bit of time with the two little ones."

Farah's last race of the season will be the Great North Run half-marathon on 16 September and he reckons that will be a rather more competitive affair.

"It's going to be serious, we've got Haile (Gebrselassie), he's a class athlete so it's not going to be easy," he said.

"The half-marathon's a long way so hopefully I can get back into serious training now and do well there."

"Bolt's still hungry and he's won six gold medals. He's a big inspiration." - Mo Farah

Farah plans to step up to the marathon at some point, but was adamant he would "definitely not" run one next year.

"When everything's going so well, why change?" added the long-distance great, who declined to reveal any more details about his twins but confirmed they would not prompt him to relocate back to Britain from his base in Portland, Oregon.

And motivation, he insisted, will not be a struggle.

"Look at (Usain) Bolt," he said. "Bolt's still hungry and he's won six gold medals. He's a big inspiration."

Farah did a lap of honour at the end of the meeting with fellow Olympic medallists Greg Rutherford, Christine Ohuruogu and Robbie Grabarz, with the trio enjoying contrasting fortunes.

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