Mo Farah: Knighthood honour is 'dream come true'

Farah celebrates his two gold medals in China. Credit: PA

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah felt being awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours was a "dream come true" for a boy who arrived in London from Somalia unable to speak English.

The 33-year-old successfully retained his 5,000 and 10,000 metres titles at the Rio Olympics, becoming the first British track and field athlete to win four Olympic gold medals.

Farah is already a CBE following his double gold at London 2012, but admitted being elevated to 'Sir Mo' was difficult to take in.

"I am so happy to be awarded this incredible honour from the country that has been my home since I moved here at the age of eight, " said Farah.

"Looking back at the boy who arrived here from Somalia, not speaking any English, I could never have imagined where I would be today - it is a dream come true.

"I am so proud to have had the opportunity to race for my country and win gold medals for the British people, who have been my biggest supporters throughout my career.

"My successes have only been possible because of their support and the commitment, sacrifices and love of my amazing family and the team around me now and over the years."

Farah may well be considered Britain's greatest ever track and field athlete, but it has been no easy climb to the top and an incredible run of nine global titles starting in 2011.

Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, Farah spent most of his early life in Djibouti and came to London when he was eight to join his father. He would go on to train at Newham and Essex Beagles Athletics Club.

Farah landed his first major outdoor gold medals by completing the long-distance double at the 2010 European Championships in Barcelona.

His real breakthrough, though, came the following year when he relocated his family to Portland, Oregon, to train under Alberto Salazar at the renowned Nike Oregon Project.

Success at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu followed, as would double gold at a home Olympic Games which catapulted Farah into the sporting stratosphere.

After more World Championships and Olympics success, there seems little else for Farah to aspire to.

The hunger now, though, burns as fierce as it did when he first came to England.

Speaking earlier this year and reflecting on his Rio triumph, Farah said: "I want to be able to finish at the top - I said to myself once that when I can't hold it at the top any more, then you'll see me doing other things.

"I'm 33 years old and you start to question yourself a little bit because you train hard and you haven't quite recovered - why haven't I recovered? What do I need to do?

"As you get older it gets a little harder, but, at the same time, it's about having patience and having that belief and trying to work it out."