A full crowd at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham witnessed Mo Farah set a new European record over 2 miles on Saturday, February 18. The milestone, however, proved to be a source of consolation for the 5k world champion as Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrated victory.
With two laps remaining, Kipchoge, the Olympic 5,000m silver medallist, opened up a sizable gap and finished in 8:07:39. Farah, who found himself in fourth position approaching 3000m, managed to secured second place with a time of 8:08:07, and in the process breaking the longstanding European record set by Belgium's Emiel Puttemans.
Speaking afterwards, Farah seemed at a loss when explaining the final stages of the race: "I just didn't have that change of gear. That happens sometimes in races. It's not an injury or anything. I can't exactly explain it. In long-distance races, anything can happen."
In relation to his preparation for London 2012, Farah said there can be no room for complacency: "It just shows I can't come off the gas. I have to keep training and I can't take anything for granted." The European Athlete of the Year will now fly to New Mexico for altitude training before making a final decision on whether to compete in next month's World Indoor Championships.
The 8,000 strong crowd also saw Hannah England secure second place in the 1500m with a time of 4:09:79. In the same event, Claire Gibson of Kilbrachan AAC narrowly missed out on a PB as she finished sixth. Finally, Helen Clitheroe came fifth in the women's 3k, with fellow Brits Gemma Steel and Elle Baker both setting PBs as they finished in sixth and seventh respectively.