Gold medallist's family torn apart by war in Somalia

Mo Farah’s identical twin brother Hassan has revealed that as a kid he was on a par with Mo in running – but couldn’t follow his brother into athletics after they were separated at 8 years old.

Mo’s family originate from Somalia but they were torn apart by the onset of civil war over 20 years ago.

The athlete’s father Muktar found asylum in the UK and 3 of his 6 children – Mo and older brothers Liban and Omar – joined him in Britain in the hope of a better life, while wife Amran stayed behind with the other kids.

Like many Somali families we were torn apart by war,’ says Hassan, 29.

In my case it felt more tragic than most. I feel I lost the other half of myself, my twin brother.

Mo and I were on a par as runners. Who knows what I could have become? We could have been famous twin Olympic athletes.

I couldn’t help thinking about that when I was watching him in the races on the television. But he’s my brother, I love him and I rejoice in his great successes.’

Mo didn’t visit Somalia again until 2003 but telecom engineer Hassan, who continues to live in the country, is still close to his gold medal-winning twin.

He was one of the first to receive a call from Mo after he got his first gold medal of the London 2012 Olympic Games in the 10,000m race.

He told me, “Pray for me my brother”,’ Hassan tells the Daily Mirror.

“I have great hopes that I can win a second gold. It is what I’ve waited for”.’

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