London 2012: Mo Farah needs to retain 'invincibility' - Steve Cram

By Steve CramBBC athletics commentator
Highlights - Mo Farah leads Great Britain to Glasgow win

In the first of his weekly columns, Steve Cram, former 1500m Olympic silver medallist and now BBC chief athletics commentator, looks at why Mo Farah needs to become "invincible" ahead of London 2012

If we weren't sure about it yet, last weekend showed all around the world that 2012 is under way with a bang.

It's Olympic year and the level of some of the performances and results from British athletes showed they've opened the season at a high level.

At the indoor International Match in Glasgow, which Britain won ahead of Russia and Germany, Mo Farah held off a late challenge from Agustine Choge of Kenya to win the 1500m.

Mo was favourite to win despite spending the past five weeks in heavy training at altitude in Kenya and only making the journey to Britain 48 hours before his race.

After an impressive 2011, which saw him become world champion over 5,000m and European indoor champion in the 3,000m, many see him as the man to beat.

He must cope with this huge expectation up until the Games. He's got to build and retain a sense of invincibility - not just to please us watching but to make sure his opponents don't see any chinks in his armour.

Mo wants to win every race, whether it's a 1500m indoors or a big 10,000m.

His next competition is a one-mile race in Boston, USA, at the Indoor Grand Prix. It's a good field, where his friend and training partner Galen Rupp will be running, so it's important that he wins - and keeps winning.

Also in Glasgow, Joe Thomas ran really well in the 800m, beating his nearest rival by almost two seconds in a personal-best time of 1:47.35.

Joe's not one of our big names but as much as the Olympics is about the Mo Farahs and Hannah Englands, it's also about the Joe Thomases and others who will use this year to step up to a level they've never achieved before.

Jeanette Kwakye, competing in the 60m, was another who did really well. She looked really sharp. Her time of 7.26 seconds was not a fast time, but then it wasn't a fast track, it's more about the manner of her run - she was a long way ahead of everybody.

Laid-back Farah unaware of Olympic schedule

Some Britons are playing out their season more quietly at smaller events and putting in good performances.

Young sprinters Asha Philip and Jodie Williams went head-to-head at a low-key event at Lea Valley. Philip's time of 7.24 was a personal bestexternal-link after a three-year battle with injury.

And there was high jumper Samson Oni who equalled his career-best indoor jump of 2.31mexternal-link to finish third among some of the world's best on the Moravian High Jump Tour in the Czech Republic.

This time of year is a very nervous time for athletes because if they're competing in the indoor season in an Olympic year, it needs to be good.

If you've decided to run it, it's for a reason - to know where you're at, how you're performing and to give you a benchmark.

If that benchmark is low then your confidence will be affected and you haven't got a lot of time to start changing things too much before the summer. So these performances are relevant and important.