11/27/2022
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Mo Farah says gruelling track ordeals nothing compared to child trafficking nightmare


Saturday November 19, 2022
By Ashleigh Rainbird



Sir Mo, holding a picture of his younger self here, said he was overawed by the public response to the film (Image: PA)


In a TV documentary earlier this year the Olympic runner disclosed he was smuggled into Britain from Somalia and treated like a servant by the people with whom he first lived

Mo Farah has survived gruelling track ordeals... but he says nothing was as hard as reliving his nightmare at the hands of child traffickers.

In a TV documentary earlier this year the Olympic runner disclosed he was smuggled into Britain from Somalia and treated like a servant by the people with whom he first lived.

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Recalling making the BBC film, the 5,000 and 10,000-metres champ said: “It was very nerve-wracking.

“If it wasn’t for my kids and my family I would never have gone through that. It was tough.

“But I wanted to be honest and share that with them. For myself, I just wanted answers.”

Sir Mo, 39, who won double Golds in London and Rio, said he was overawed by the public response to the film and inundated with messages of support from people who had been through similar experiences.

“I didn’t know there were so many people in that same situation,” he said. “It was just my story, my journey.”

He also told of his relief on learning that the Home Office would not consider taking any action over his illegal entry at the age of nine. “I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “Because going back to when I was a kid, we did go back to social services.

“We did do quite a lot of stuff and it didn’t get dealt with. Or it just got lost. You just learn to deal with it.”

Speaking at the GQ Men of the Year event, in association with Boss, he said it was “incredible” to be honoured for the documentary. He added: “Anything is possible with hard work.”

Sir Mo – born Hussein Abdi Kahin – has twin daughters Aisha and Amani. Wife Tania gave birth weeks after his 2012 Olympic triumph.

The couple’s seven-year-old son Hussein was given his father’s birth name.

Mo describes Rhiana, 16, – his wife’s child from a previous relationship – as his daughter.

His early life was revealed in July in the film The Real Mo Farah. It told how he was flown to the UK by a woman he didn’t know and made to look after another family’s children.

At first he was not allowed to go to school but when he was 11 or 12 he began attending Feltham Community College in West London where his athletic talent was first spotted.

He confided in his PE teacher who contacted social services and helped him be fostered by another Somali family. 



 





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