sport

Farah lands Euro honour again

British Olympic hero Mo Farah has been voted European Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year.

The double Olympic champion, having claimed gold medals in both the 5,000m and 10,000m in London, is only the second athlete to receive back-to-back European Athlete of the Year awards.

The other was Christian Olsson, the Swedish triple jumper, in 2003 and 2004.

The Somali-born distance runner will accept his prize at the European Athletics Awards Night in St Julians, Malta, on October 13. Alongside him will be poster girl of the 2012 Olympics, Jessica Ennis, after she picked up the women's European Athlete of the Year award.

In the men's category, it was France who claimed the second and third places behind Farah, through pole-vaulter Renaud Lavillenie and sprinter Christophe Lemaitre.

The award completes a magical year for 29-year-old Farah.

In Helsinki, he defended his European 5,000m title, becoming the first man to win consecutive gold medals over the distance at the European Athletics Championships.

Then just six weeks later, he took the sporting world by storm as he raced to two Olympic gold medals and became the first Briton to win Olympic titles in long distance running events.

In the history of the Olympics, Farah became only the seventh man, and fifth European, to achieve the distance double. He was also the first to achieve such an accomplishment in front of a home crowd.

Despite his hugely successful summer, the first few months of 2012 signalled that such a dramatic end to the year would not be possible.

The runner had only won one of his four indoor competitions and, despite setting a European indoor two miles best, he had to settle for fourth place as he finished outside the medals over 3,000m at the World Indoor Championships.

Farah's true colours emerged however once the outdoor season began.

At the Diamond League meeting in Eugene in early June, he won over 5,000m in 12:56.98, the best time by a European runner this year, and he did not look back after that.