BRITAIN’S MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE OF AFRICAN AND AFRICAN CARIBBEAN HERITAGE.
Olympic champion, 5,000m, 10,000m
With a stunning victory in the men’s 5,000m in the 2016 Rio Olympics to go with the 10,000m gold he won days earlier, Mo Farah cemented his position as Britain’s greatest distance runner. His victories in Brazil made him the first British man and only second man ever to hold the Olympic and World 10,000m and 5,000m titles. Mo’s achievements are a far cry from his humble beginnings in Somalia. He was born in Mogadishu, but left for Britain when he was just eight. He arrived in the UK speaking very little English. Mo, 33, grew up in west London and started running at school where his potential was spotted by his PE teacher. He was a successful junior athlete, winning the European Junior 5,000m title in 2001, but his breakthrough on the senior stage came in 2006 when he won a silver medal in the 5,000m European Championships. Later in the year he won the European Cross Country Championships. In 2010 he was even more successful, winning the double – 10,000m and 5,000m – at the European Championships and a week later he became the first British man to run sub 13 minutes for the 5,000m. In 2011 he became the World Champion at 5,000m, the first British man to win the title. He won silver in the 10,000m. All eyes were on Mo on August 4, 2012, when he made history at the London Olympics. He won Super Saturday’s 10,000m race, Great Britain’s first Olympic gold at this distance. A week later, cheered on by thousands of fans, he completed the hardest track double of them all by winning the 5,000m. Mo successfully defended his 5,000m title and won gold in the 10,000m at the 2014 European Championships, making him the most successful individual in the history of the championships. He repeated the long-distance double at the 2015 World Championships. He was made a CBE in 2013 and there are persistent calls for him to receive a knighthood.