runABC Scotland News

19 Dec

Playing Fifa Showed Mo Was Ready

Mo Farah

Mo Farah's coach, Alberto Salazar, has revealed the moment he knew the 29-year-old was ready for his shot at Olympic glory. Salazar recalls that whilst at a high-altitude training camp in the Pyrenees, Farah and his training partner, Galen Rupp, showed more interest in playing a computer game than taking part in their final major track session.

Salazar said: "They were playing Fifa on PlayStation and the other guys were yelling that it was time to go to the track. They'd say, 'just one more game, just one more game'. Here they are about to run their last major workout before the Olympic 10,000m final and they're more worried about a Fifa game. Each won one game that morning. I thought, 'Wow, this is great. These guys are so loose they're not even worried about the workout. They know they're going to hit it.' And that's when I knew these guys are ready."

Farah famously went on to clinch gold in the 10,000m and 5,000m at the London Olympics, and Salazar discussed the improvements Mo had made since moving to the US which enabled him to achieve both feats: "When Mo first came to the US, he was very weak muscularly, with a lot of imbalances. The improvement in that area is the number one reason for Mo's kick [at the end of his races]. Now, instead of flailing with his arms and a lot of excessive bobbing movement with his head, losing upper body posture at the end of races, he's so much stronger that he's able to finish very strongly."

Adding that Farah always had the raw talent to be an Olympic champion: "Nobody makes a great athlete. That great athlete was there; you get the athlete to bring it out of themselves. No matter how good a coach is, he or she cannot take an average athlete and turn them into one of the best in the world.

"Michelangelo once said that when he creates a sculpture, he just really frees the sculpture from the block of marble that's there. And as coaches, that's what we do too."