Cardiff 2016 ambassador Mo Farah today engaged with the local Welsh community as he steps up his preparations for tomorrow’s IAAF / Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships, where 20,000 people will take to the streets of the city for the biggest mass participation event in Wales of 2016.
The double Olympic champion took part in a Q&A session with over 50 local junior and secondary school children from all over Cardiff. Farah was met with questions ranging from how he deals with pressure on the track and his beloved football team, Arsenal, before being presented with a ‘Mo Inspires’ birthday cake, two days after turning 33.
Farah was then in esteemed company for the official press conference as he was joined by fellow British greats Paula Radcliffe, a winner of the event in 2000, 2001 and 2003, and IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe, himself a double Olympic champion over 1500m. Also on the top table was defending IAAF World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya, who is likely to pose the biggest threat to Farah’s gold medal quest and USA’s 2011 Pan American Games gold medallist Sara Hall.
Ahead of making his Cardiff 2016 bow, Farah said: “I’m really excited to be here. It’s part of my journey to Rio so when this came up, it was a no-brainer. I want to be here and I love the support of the home crowd – it makes a massive difference.
“It’s going to be quite a tough race as Geoffrey (Kamworor) is a great athlete and the other Kenyans’ too. Hopefully I can go out there and have the crowd behind me.”
Concluding his day’s exertions, Farah took to the stage at the Cardiff 2016 Sports Expo, where fans had turned out in their thousands to catch a glimpse of the Olympic hero. Farah delighted the fans for half an hour, answering a series of questions based around his career, preparations for Rio 2016 and the event tomorrow.
Further information on the IAAF / Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships can be found at www.cardiff2016.co.uk. You can also follow live updates on Twitter via @Cardiff2016