July 18, 2013
(Editor’s Update: Mo has run his 1500 and done better than we could have expected: LRC Flash: Holy Mother of God: Asbel Kiprop 3:27.72, Mo Farah Takes Down Steve Cram’s British Record.)
Double Olympic champion Mo Farah was supposed to tour the sites of Monaco on an open air double-decker bus with the media on Thursday.
However, a thunderstorm rolled into Monaco and cancelled the bus tour and a traditional press conference was held. Instead of seeing Mo in front of Ferraris or the world-famous casino, you are stuck with seeing him behind a lectern. Sorry. We know it sucks for you, but trust us it was way worse for us as we’ve done a thousand press conferences over the years but never a sight souring tour in Monaco.
We now give you the highlights of the press conference in text and offer you the full embed video below as well if you’ve got 20 minutes.
Mo is not running the strong 5000m in Monaco, instead he’s dropping down and facing a stacked field in the 1500m that features 2008 Olympic champ Asbel Kiprop and Olympic silver medallist Leo Manzano.
Farah: “It’s important coming into Moscow to work on my speed”
Mo beat his chief Ethiopian rivals Hagos Gebrhiwet and Yenew Alamirew in Birmingham last month in his last 5000m. Fittingly given its Formula 1 history, this year Monaco is all about speed for Farah.
“I raced against everyone there (in Birmingham)…. It’s important coming into Moscow to work on my speed,” he said.
Farah’s 1500m PR is 3:33.98 from Monaco in 2009. He hopes to better that this year. “Hopefully if I can run something like that or under that would be great. At the same time, I’m not thinking about time, but about racing against these guys.”
Farah’s spent a good portion of his time with the media discussing how his life changed forever with two races in London last summer. The double Olympic champ noted many things haven’t changed as he’s still first and foremost an athlete. “As an athlete, I’m always motivated. Running comes first,” he said.
Farah: “Improving 1 or 2%…that’s the difference between winning the gold and finishing 6th”
Farah resisted the notion that he burst on the scene in 2011 when he first won Worlds after switching to American coach Alberto Salazar earlier that year. Farah said, “I’ve been around for years.” Farah sees his improvement as being small, but big enough to take him from 6th in the world (2007) to #1 (2011, 2012).
“My training has only been improving 1 or 2% and that’s the difference between winning the gold and finishing 6th (at 2007 Worlds),” he said.
On his training difference Mo said, “I wasn’t doing the wrong training, but I wasn’t smart about my training.” Farah also said, “I started taking it (the training) seriously in 2006.”
Farah: “I used to believe I could never beat the Kenyans”
It was in 2006, that Farah first went and trained with the Kenyans. “I used to believe I could never beat the Kenyans until I trained with them,” he said.
Now the roles are reversed and the Kenyans and Ethiopians are wondering if they can beat Farah. In Birmingham, Alamirew and Gebrhiwet tried to beat Farah off a slow pace and it didn’t work. On that strategy, Farah said, “I think it will be different win it comes to Worlds.”
After a journalist implied the rest of the world has no chance in beating Mo Farah in a slow race, Farah laughed and said, “Everybody has a chance.”
We’ll find out in Moscow, but before then we get to see how fast Mo is in a 1500m.
Full press conference with Mo Below.
(We’ve got it to start at the 9:31 mark where Mo is asked about the race in Birmingham and then talks about Worlds)
More Monaco: Olympic Silver Medalist Leo Manzano is racing in Monaco. We talked to Leo here.
*Men’s Preview: LRC What An Incredible Lineup - Rupp And Lagat Go For The AR In The 5,000; Symmonds, Centro And Manzano Vs. Kiprop And Farah (Yes, Farah) In The 1,500; World #1 Duane Solomon In The 800
*Women’s Preview: LRC Jenny Simpson Returns To 1,500 And Will Face Martinez, Moser, Obiri And Rowbury Plus Shalaya Kipp tries to qualify one last time in the steeple after failing to do so last week.