Farah has the strength to cope – Thompson

EUROPEAN champion Mo Farah has the ability to deal with the pressure at the London Olympics, according to his team-mate Chris Thompson.

The 29-year-old is the world champion at 5,000 metres and silver medallist at 10,000m and will start as one of the favourites for gold on the track.

Thompson took silver behind Farah at the European Championships in 2012 and competed against the Somalia-born athlete in the junior ranks, so knows what he has to offer.

Farah could only finish fourth over 3,000m at the World Indoor Championships in March, but Thompson has backed him to come good in London.

“Anyone in any profession acknowledges the difficult second series, defending titles, anything like that is always harder because there is an expectation there,” said Thompson.

“But Mo is an excellent athlete mentally. He rises to challenges, he’s someone who is very determined. He’s not an athlete who’s frightened of failure, he looks to succeed and that’s the kind of thing you have to do.

“You’re not going to go to the World Championships in Daegu the year before the Olympics and deliberately not win because you don’t want to have everyone looking at you.

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“You want to develop yourself to be an athlete who wins things and then you can say, ‘I’m the man to beat, come and get me’.

“In my opinion it’s always going to be difficult to back up a success like that, but he was second in Daegu over 10,000m and, because it wasn’t double gold, there still is something to improve on. That will help him, it means he’s not trying to repeat perfection.”

Thompson already has the Olympic ‘A’ standards over 5,000m and 10,000m, the former thanks to a run of 13 minutes 15.21 seconds in California last month and should race over both distances in London, provided things go to plan at the Aviva 2012 Trials in June.