- Born in Somalia but unaware of his talent for running until he emigrated to Britain as a 12-year-old, Mukhtar Mohammed was already used to being compared to the other ‘Mo’ before collecting the bronze medal in the 800 metres on Sunday. At a high-altitude training camp in Kenya’s Rift Valley this year, Mohammed even found himself being mobbed by the local children who mistook him for his namesake.
“In Kenya, I get mistaken for Mo Farah a lot,” he said. “When I go for my run and I put on my British kit, I can hear everyone shouting ‘Mo, Mo, Mo’. I’m saying to them, ‘I’m not Mo, I’m not Mo’. I get all the kids coming up to me trying to run with me. It’s really, really funny.”
Being Mo Mark II is something that Mohammed is happy to embrace, however, especially as he regards Farah as both an inspiration and a friend.
“I know him quite well. When we went to Kenya we spent a lot of time together. We speak Somali together and when I see him at competitions he gives me advice.”
After winning his first senior international medal in a bruising 800m final, Mohammed, 22, is hoping he will start attracting attention for his own achievements after narrowly missing out on the London Olympics.
Having previously shown his sporting talent as a scholar at the Sheffield Wednesday football academy, until he was released four years ago, Mohammed only became aware of his potential as an athlete when a friend suggested that he should try his hand at track running at Sheffield’s Don Valley stadium.
Like Jessica Ennis, Mohammed is saddened that the stadium will be demolished after this summer as part of a Sheffield City Council cost-cutting package.
“I wouldn’t be here today without the Don Valley, so I feel very let down by the decision,” he said.
By Simon Hart, Gothenburg/The Telegraph