Farah sets new British record

  • Last Updated: August 24 2014, 19:32 BST

Mo Farah marked his first appearance on a British track in more than a year by claiming his eighth national record - and then declared his struggles this season had made him hungrier than ever for more success.

Mo Farah sets a new British two-mile record in Birmingham
Mo Farah sets a new British two-mile record in Birmingham

Farah shattered Steve Ovett's 36-year-old British record over two miles at the Sainsbury's Birmingham Grand Prix on Sunday, powering home in eight minutes 07.85 seconds to blow the middle distance great's mark of 8mins 13.51secs out of the water.

The double Olympic, world and European champion's time was also a European record.

The 31-year-old's desire to add yet another record to his growing collection was clear as he pulled away from the field from way out and came home just shy of 15 seconds clear of his closest rival.

Farah completed the 5,000 and 10,000 metres double at the European Championships in Zurich earlier this month, bouncing back from a torrid campaign which included a chastening marathon debut in London, where he finished eighth, and a frightening health scare which ruled him out of the Commonwealth Games.

The Londoner, who was watched by his twin daughters, Aisha and Amani, on their second birthday, said: "Early on I felt a bit tired and then as I got into it I just felt better and better. I kept looking at the clock and thinking, 'I can do it, I can do it'.

He now holds the British record over 1500m, 5,000m, 10,000m and two miles outdoors and 3,000m, 5,000m and two miles indoors as well as the half marathon. It is some haul.

He has one more race this season - the Great North Run next month - before taking a break ahead of focusing on the track, and the World Championships in Beijing, next year.

"(I'm) not thinking about the road or anything. I just want to get back on the track and get ready for the World Championships," he said on his aims for 2015.

"When you're at the top it's harder. When you go through a struggle you are more determined, you want it more.

"Sometimes getting beaten or getting ill makes you want it more."

Certainly two more gold medals and another European record was hardly a bad return from a season which has run anything but smoothly.

Lynsey Sharp was equally impressive in winning over 800m at the Diamond League meeting at Alexander Stadium.

The Scot, silver medallist at the Commonwealths and Europeans, gained revenge on the Kenyan who pipped her to gold in Glasgow, the world champion Eunice Sum, finishing strongly to claim victory in 1:59.14.

The 24-year-old's achievements this year are nothing short of remarkable given the health and fitness issues she has had to cope with.

She is due to undergo a third surgery at the end of September, the previous two operations to deal with a tendon problem in her left calf having left her with an open wound that requires twice-daily dressing.

Her Commonwealth medal, meanwhile, came after being so sick the night before she was put on a drip.

On the surgery, she said: "They think there is an abscess of bad tissue inside so they need to take that out and make sure all the infection is gone before it closes up."

Told by doctors it was a "fairly" serious procedure, Sharp said she was "having nightmares about it".

"We've got to get it right this time," she added. "We are arguing over the expected recovery time. I'm saying six weeks, they're saying four months, so we'll see."

If the problem is corrected, though, 2015 should be an exciting year, given Sharp ran a big personal best of 1:58.80 at the Europeans in Zurich.

"I love championship racing and I think with the worlds next year and the Olympics in 2016, to medal at them is probably the next aim," she said.

Elsewhere, world champion Christine Ohuruogu, who found herself in the unusual position of not being among the medals in Zurich, won the 400m in 51.40.

Eilidh Child again had to settle for second to Kaliese Spencer, the Jamaican who beat her to the Commonwealth title, in the 400m hurdles.

Greg Rutherford, who has added Commonwealth and European gold to his Olympic long jump crown this summer, finished fourth with a best leap of 8.04m.

The effects of a gruelling season were evident for Martyn Rooney and Matthew Hudson-Smith, the gold and silver medallists over 400m at the European Championships, as they proved no match for Olympic champion Kirani James.

The 21-year-old from Grenada claimed a comfortable win in 44.59, with Rooney third in 45.25 and Hudson-Smith, on his home track, seventh and last in 46.60.

David Rudisha missed out on a new world best in the rarely-run 600m, but still produced a dominant display of front-running to take the victory in 1:13.71.