London: World and European 5,000 metres champion Mo Farah will face his first stern challenge of the Olympic year in Birmingham next month, the scene of a record breaking run last year that set him on the path to world championship success.
Farah, who broke the British and European indoor 5,000 records at Birmingham`s Aviva Grand Prix last February with a time of 13:10.60, says the two-mile race on February 18 will be a good start to his London Olympic campaign.
"The field at Birmingham will be world class, it always is, and it`s exactly what I need in an Olympic year," Farah said in a statement.
"I don`t want to go to a meet and know that it will be an easy run. Right now I want to be racing against the best and being pushed to run faster, that allows me to work on my race strategy, to keep my head right during the race and to hopefully finish up with a positive result."
Farah, who also won the 10,000 silver at the world championships in Daegu in September, begins his 2012 season in Glasgow, three weeks ahead of his appearance in Birmingham.