Mo Farah wins 3,000m at the British Grand Prix in Birmingham

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter in Birmingham
Farah eases to indoor 3,000m victory

Mo Farah made a winning start to his 2013 season with victory over 3,000m indoors at the British Grand Prix.

Farah moved to the front at the halfway point and held off the challenge of Frenchman Florian Carvalho to finish in a time of seven minutes 42 seconds.

"It was brilliant," Farah told BBC Sport. "A great start to the year."

There were wins for pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale, long jumper Shara Proctor and Michael Rimmer, Helen Clitheroe and Nigel Levine on the track.

Following Saturday's victory in Birmingham Farah does not plan to run at next month's European Indoor Championships in Gothenberg and will instead compete in the New Orleans half-marathon in late February.

The 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic gold medallist then intends to run half of the London Marathon in April, ahead of going for the full distance in 2014.

"If you can get a practice it's definitely well worth it," he said.

"It's not just about the race, it's about dealing with everything - waking up early in the morning, making sure you get a good breakfast, through the race, the media, everything else."

Bleasdale beat Cuba's Olympic silver medallist Yarisley Silva with a first-attempt vault of 4.70m, and said she was pleased with her progress after failing to win a medal at the London Olympic Games.

"I'm really happy with how today went," she said. "I usually jump on 4.45m poles but today I was feeling that good, I was like, 'I'm just going to try my 4.60s.'

"I was so close to 4.78m it was painful, but I'm really confident going into the Europeans that I can pick up a medal, maybe even win gold."

Rimmer's 800m victory was a controversial one, with Sudan's Abubaker Kaki, who was leading in the final metres, appearing to collide with the British runner as they jostled for the line.

Kaki crossed the line on his knees to finish second, but Rimmer maintained his innocence.

"It looks like I pushed him, but I actually tried to stop," insisted the GB middle-distance runner. "He dived in front of me and I had nowhere to go."

Levine's 400m victory in 46.34 seconds and Proctor's winning leap of 6.78 in the long jump should secure their places at next month's Europeans, but 3,000m champion Clitheroe is unsure whether she will defend the title she won in 2010.

"I'm not committing myself and only made a late decision to come here, but it was nice to know I have a little pace in my legs still," said the 39-year-old, who missed out on Olympic qualification after injury struggles.

British high jumper Robbie Grabarz and 800m runner Jenny Meadows, who was competing for the first time since September 2011 after a series of injuries, both finished second.

"It was so surreal just to be out there on the starting line," said Meadows. "The Russian girl [winner Ekaterina Poistogova] was a bronze medallist at the Olympic Games, and I've only really been back in training about 10 weeks, so it's a pretty good result considering."

Dwain Chambers failed to reach the men's 60m final, which was won by American Michael Rodgers in 6.53.

The former indoor world champion has been struggling with a back injury recently and will face an anxious night of waiting before the British team selection for the European Indoors is revealed on Sunday.

"It's been rather difficult because I'm not used to injuries," said Chambers, "but as you start to get older and a little bit more mature in your event, these things happen.

"These are just lessons learned for me and I just have to take this as an experience and learn to improve from there."

Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast ran 6.99 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year, over 60m to beat double Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce into second.

"I'm so so excited," said Ahoure. "My goal is obviously the World Championships outdoors, so we've just been training for the 100m.

"It's so cool to come out here in the middle of training and drop a time like this, it's crazy - it tells me it's going to be a really, really good year."

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