Farah bids to defend title
Mo Farah will bid to defend his 5,000m title on the opening day of the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki.
Farah did the long-distance double in Barcelona two years ago before adding 5,000m gold and 10,000m silver at the World Championships in Korea last year.
And although the 29-year-old will only contest Wednesday night's 5,000m final this time around, he will be keen to reproduce the sort of form which saw him storm to the top of the world rankings and defeat several of his biggest rivals in Oregon earlier this month.
Farah came in for some criticism for pulling out of the final of the 1,500m at the weekend's Olympic trials in Birmingham, but UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee had no problem with the decision.
"I understand the criticism but I understand the decision," said Van Commenee, who concedes Britain will not come close to matching the record 19 medals they won in Barcelona as many athletes concentrate on Olympic preparation.
"It was his intention to run the final but after the race he spoke to his coach (Alberto Salazar) and they thought to run properly here it would be better to skip the final.
"There is also a European title he wants to defend. He needs a 5k somewhere at the end of June and they are not easy to find."
Farah has improved enormously since moving with his wife and family to train under Salazar in Oregon, with Van Commenee admitting he could not have predicted just how good the Somalia-born athlete would become.
"I helped him to make the decision to go to the States knowing there was much more to come, but you can never predict how much better," Van Commenee added.
"Being the very best athlete in the world over 5k and the second best over 10k is something you cannot foresee.
"Would he be in contention? Yeah, I could see that, but winning no, that's impossible.
"All the coaches and athletes who say something different talk rubbish. They hope but they don't know.
"It was a life-changing decision. I had a couple of serious conversations going over all the options. He needed to change.
"He worked for a long time with Alan Storey, who brought him to a good standard, and it's not easy to make these decisions."
The 5,000m is the only final on the opening day, but Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and Mark Lewis-Francis will also look to impress in the heats and semi-finals of the men's 100m.
However, with teenager Adam Gemili qualifying for the Olympics and Dwain Chambers winning the trials, Van Commenee admitted it would take "something incredible" for anyone to present a better case for selection than the controversial former drugs cheat before Sunday's deadline.