Sports Personality of the Year 2011 top 10: Mo Farah

Mo Farah knew something had to change if he was to become world champion so he made the decision to move to the United States to train.

It paid off within six months as he won 5,000m gold at the World Championships in Daegu to prove his credentials as one of the best distance runners in the world.

Farah's incredible performance was not only the biggest distance win by a European male since Ireland's Eamonn Coghlan at the Worlds in 1983 but the first long distance gold won by a British male at a global championships.

Londoner Farah had already won silver in the 10,000m at the world championships - a race he had looked set to win gold in until he was piped by Ethiopia's Ibrahim Jeilan just metres from the line.

He said: "I came close but not close enough. I was disappointed, I thought I was capable of winning the gold [in the 10,000m]but didn't quite have it.

"I learned a lot from that race. I just had to be strong, go home, get in the ice bath, eat well and come back two days later for the 5,000m.

"To be world champion means so much to me. It didn't quite sink in but over time it has. As an athlete, it's something you dream of, train for, all the hard graft and work."

The 28-year-old has made made vast improvements since moving with his family to Oregon at the beginning of the year to be coached by Alberto Salazar.

Looking unbeatable, Farah also won the men's two-mile race at the Great North City Games in his first competition since winning the world 5,000m title in South Korea.

To cap another fantastic year Farah also picked up the Athlete of the Year accolade from the British Athletics Writers' Association.

But he is already looking ahead to 2012.

"It's been unbelievable what I've achieved but it doesn't stop there. One you get a taste of it you want more."

Stories from Mo Farah's year:

Farah wins gold as Idowu beaten

Farah eases to win in Gateshead

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