The world’s finest distance runner, Sir Mohammed Muktar Jama Farah, has been awarded Knight Batchelor in the New Year’s Honours List published on Saturday (31 December 2016). Far better known as 'Mo' Farah, the most illustrious member of Newham and Essex Beagles AC was knighted for his services to athletics after successfully defending his Olympic 5000m and 10,000m titles at Rio 2016.
Sir Mo was born on 23 March, 1983 in Mogadishu, Somalia and came to Britain in 1993, where his talent was first spotted and then nurtured by PE teacher, Alan Watkinson. His senior career really took off when he won the 2006 European Cross Country Championships and lowered his 5000m PB to 13:09.40.
Among many unforgettable achievements since are his double Olympic gold medals at 5000m and 10,000m at London 2012 and Rio 2016 plus five World Championships and five European gold medals on the track.
He currently owns British records for 1500m (3:28:81); 3000m (7:32.62); 5000m (12:53.11) and 10,000m (26:46.57) while his UK bests on the road include the 10k (27:44) and half marathon (59:32).
A delighted Sir Mo, who will be targeting more golden successes in the London World Championships this summer, said: "I’m so happy to be awarded this incredible honour from the country that has been my home since I moved here at the age of eight. Looking back at the boy who arrived here from Somalia, not speaking any English, I could never have imagined where I would be today - it's a dream come true.
"I’m so proud to have had the opportunity to race for my country and win gold medals for the British people, who have been my biggest supporters throughout my career. My successes have only been possible because of their support and the commitment, sacrifices and love of my amazing family and the team around me now and over the years."