Fans flock to Mo Farah book signing at Canary Wharf

By Rob Virtue on October 14, 2013 1:37 PM |

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Sports fans were queuing five hours ahead of Mo Farah's arrival at Canary Wharf on Monday to guarantee their meeting with the legendary athlete.

The double gold medal winner at last year's Olympics was signing copies of his book Twin Ambitions: My Autobiography for supporters at Jubilee Place mall.

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The first fans began lining up at around 8am keen to see the man who had a huge part in making the 2012 Games so special.

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David Hicks was one of the first in the queue at Jubilee Place Mall. "I've been a big fan ever since the first World Championships he won in 2011," said David.

"He's a great athlete who really looks like he enjoys what he's doing and gives it everything."

Farah, 28, has run strong links to east London as he has run for Newham and Essex Beagles since 2001 and trained with the group until moving to the United States in 2011.

Elyzabeth Shitta-Bey, also a member of the Beagles, said his success has had a big impact on the club.

"We've had an influx of young athletes coming in since the Olympics," said Elyzabeth.

"We've a lot of successful athletes at the club, such as Christine Ohuruogu, but what Mo has done has been phenomenal. And he can only get better.

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"I'm sure he'll be able to make that transition into a marathon runner successfully."

Another fan in the queue, Dominick O'Donnell had been waiting nearly three hours to see the current 10,000 metres and 5,000m Olympic, World and European champion.

"He's up there with the greatest," he said. "He's an excellent ambassador for British athletics as well.

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"I just wanted to tell him to keep the flag flying for us."

Not only were people queuing to meet the king of the track, but crowds were five deep surrounding the signing table just to get a glimpse of him, while a huge number of photographers were also present.

When Farah arrived he posed for photos - performing the obligatory 'Mobot' pose - before throwing a book to a fan.

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In a strict media operation, those in the queue were told before Farah's arrival there would be no dedications in the books.

But they were just buoyed by the chance to meet their idol at the event organised by Waterstone's.

Paul Raymond and Sue Brisco said it was an ambition ever since the Olympics to meet Farah in person.

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Paul said: "I was fortunate enough to have been in the Olympic Stadium on Super Saturday as I was working in the Park. It was one of the greatest days ever.

"The guy is an inspiration to everybody. As well as a great athlete he's an ideal role model. He's dedicated his life to being the best."

Sue said: "I was at a wedding when he won in the World Championships but I managed to sneak out to see the race, missing the speeches!

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"And I saw him at the Anniversary Games in the Olympic Stadium and have tickets for the Commonwealth Games. To see him run live is incredible."

Twin Ambitions: My Autobiography is available in hardback at Waterstones in Canary Wharf, priced at £20.

For more on Waterstones in Jubilee Place click here. The book