Mo Farah relieved at UK govt support after shock revelation

Mo Farah relieved at UK govt support after shock revelation

Sir Mohamed Muktar Jama Farah, simply known as Mo Farah has expressed relief, Wednesday after receiving fulsome backing from the UK government despite his admission that he was illegally trafficked into Britain as a child.

 

The revelation in a new BBC documentary could have raised questions about Farah’s UK citizenship, but the interior ministry said it was taking no action.

 

A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “He is a sporting hero, he is an inspiration to people across the country.

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“It is a shocking reminder of the horrors that people face when they are trafficked. And we must continue to clamp down on these criminals who take advantage of vulnerable people.”

 

The 39-year-old distance runner, one of Britain’s best-loved and most successful athletes, revealed his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin, and he was forced to work in domestic servitude after entering the country aged eight or nine.

 

London’s Metropolitan Police said it was “assessing” the allegation that Farah was trafficked after his mother sent him away to escape civil war in their native Somalia.

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Asked in a follow-up interview on BBC radio how he felt about the government’s response, Farah said: “I feel relieved: this is my country.

 

“No child wants to be in that situation. I had that choice made for me,” he said.

 

“And I’m just grateful (for) every chance I got in Britain and… proud to represent my country the way I did, because that’s all I could do, in my control. I had no control when I was younger.”

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Farah was later helped to obtain UK citizenship by his physical education teacher at school, Alan Watkinson, while still using the assumed name Mohamed Farah given to him by a woman who trafficked him to Britain.

 

“I don’t think Alan did anything wrong there,” the athlete told BBC radio.

 

“Alan did go to social services. We did report it, we did tell them exactly what was my name… So we went through the right channels, but I don’t know why nothing was ever done,” he said.

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Rather than moving to the UK as a refugee from Somalia with his mother and two of his brothers to join his IT consultant father as previously claimed, Farah said he came from Djibouti with the woman he had never met, and then made to look after another family’s children.

 

In fact, he said, his father was killed in civil unrest in Somalia when Farah was aged four and his mother, Aisha, and two brothers live in the breakaway state of Somaliland.

 

He was encouraged to speak out now by his wife and children, after burying the truth for decades.

 

“I honestly don’t want to be talking about it because I told myself I would never talk about it. I’m gonna lock it up,” he said.

Mo Farah relieved at UK govt support after shock revelation

Mo Farah is the 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medallist in both the 5,000 m and 10,000 m. He is the second athlete, after Lasse Virén, to win both the 5,000 m and 10,000 m titles at successive Olympic Games. He also completed the ‘distance double’ at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships in Athletics. He was the first man to defend both distance titles in both major global competitions; a feat described as the ‘quadruple-double’. After finishing second in the 10,000 metres at the 2011 World Championships, Farah had an unbroken streak of ten global final wins (the 5,000m in 2011, the 10,000m in 2017 and the double in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016). The streak ended in Farah’s final championship track race, when he finished second to Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris in the 2017 5,000 metres final.

 

On the track, Farah mostly competed over 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres, but has run competitively from 1,500 metres to the marathon. In 2017, he indicated his intention to switch wholly to road racing following victory at his final track race, the 2017 IAAF Diamond League 5,000 metres final. He won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a time of 2:05:11, a European record. His running style has been described as bouncy and tactical, which he has attempted to alter for a more efficient and energy-saving stride pattern, especially in the longer distances.[14] Farah runs distance races tactically, a style which is aided by his quick sprint finish.

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