sports gazette

EXCLUSIVE: Debate on Sir Mo Farah's plans after Trump controversy continues

Sir Mo Farah was speaking at St. Mary's University, Twickenham, where the track was being named in his honour
Published: 16 Feb 2017

Sir Mo Farah said that he missed England today, drawing attention to the fact the double-double Olympic champion could move from America.

Farah, 33, was at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, today for the naming of the athletics track where his international career kicked off.

But it comes at a time when his reaction to President Donald Trump’s new immigration laws has caused debate.

He told ITV London today: “It was important that I spoke out at the time. I believe that it was an unfair decision.

“Sometimes it’s not fair but it is what it is. It’s not fair to be treated that way so that is why I strongly spoke out.”

But when speaking to the crowd at St. Mary’s, Farah said: “I do miss London a lot but the reason I moved to the other side of the world was to be able to improve.

“It hasn’t been easy to move my whole family, but it depends how much I want it. That’s one thing you have to do- believe in yourself, work hard and make key decisions.”

Whilst Farah is happy with his position at the moment, the belief among his friends and past training partners varies greatly.

BBC athletics commentator Steve Cram said: “Obviously he’s got a family well settled there. I’ve been to his place out there and it’s a very nice lifestyle.

“I think for the forseeable future that’s the more likely scenario because, if he is going to embark on marathon, half-marathon and road-running, there’s a lot more of it in America and that’s a big market out there to tap into.

“He’s got lots of options so it makes sense that he’s based out there, at least while he’s still running. After that I don’t know.”

Tom Bedford, one of Farah’s close friends and training partners at St. Mary’s, said: “I think he's only moved away locally because of training, and being near his coach.

“I think he’ll move back and I think he’ll move back locally as well. This is home and I'm sure he’ll move back one day. He's got kids now as well so that’s another thing.

“Fortunately he's been able to be quite selfish as an athlete so maybe there’s a reason for the kids and what’s right for them.”

I do miss London a lot but the reason I moved to the other side of the world was to be able to improve.

Zara Hyde Peters, a technical director on the Endurance Performance and Coaching Centre (EPACC) at St. Mary's when Farah started in 2001, said he's British through and through.

She added: “I think he'd like to come back some day and I suspect, because of his family, he will probably choose a time. He's really a family man at heart. 

“He gives up a lot for his sport and stays away for a long time, so I think when the twins are a little bit older and it’s a good time to move for them, he will come back.” 

Head of the 2012 Preparations and Sport Strategy Dick Fisher, who worked with Farah at St. Mary’s, said: “I don’t know about the family arrangements. He’s got a flat down the road in Bushy Park and he is quite often here throughout the year.

“Whenever he comes over to England, he comes and trains here, so it’s quite likely that you’ll see him turfing around the place.”

In an exclusive mini-series, Sports Gazette spoke to friends, former training partners and coachs of Sir Mo Farah about his career highlights and ambitions, follow the links below:

Track legend and BBC athletics commentator Steve Cram

St. Mary's Endurance Performance and Coaching Centre (EPACC) training partner Tom Bedford

St. Mary's Head of 2012 Preparations and Sports Strategy Dick Fisher

EPACC Technical Director of Endurance Zara Hyde Peters

EPACC coach Craig Winrow

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