Athletics - Farah eases to comeback win in Birmingham

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah won his first outing of 2013 at the British Athletics Grand Prix as he cruised to victory in the 3000m at Birmingham’s NIA.

On the day Farah announced he will run the first half of this year's London Marathon before going the full distance in 2014, he ground down the field to clock a winning time of 7:42.00minutes.

Florian Carvalho was the only one to keep up with Farah, who won the 5,000m and 10,000m at London 2012, but he fell away as the Brit kicked finishing over three seconds behind in second.

Farah was the last of six Brits to taste victory at the Grand Prix in Birmingham with Holly Bleasdale, Shara Proctor, Nigel Levine, Helen Clitheroe and Michael Rimmer all doing so before him.

And Farah, who will next compete at the New Orleans half-marathon on February 24, admitted he got exactly what he wanted out of his performance, which was more than well received.

"The reception was great, the support from the crowd was brilliant," said Farah. "It was a great start to the year and it was important for me to come out and win.

"I am doing the New Orleans half-marathon and from there I will run half the London Marathon in April, those are the next races planned.

"It means a lot to run the marathon in London and it is good practice. It is not just about the running but about everything that comes with it and if you can go and practice then why not."

World indoor pole vault bronze medallist Bleasdale responded to her first defeat of the year at the Pedro's Cup in Poland earlier this week by winning in Birmingham.

Bleasdale jumped just 4.50m, her lowest final height this season, in Bydgoszcz as Yarisley Silva was victorious but she turned the tide on the Cuban in the West Midlands.

She produced an effort 4.70m, winning on count back from Silva, and Bleasdale insists her confidence ahead of the European Indoor Championships just keeps growing.

"I was really happy with that. I am so close to 4.78m it is painful and I used my 4.60m poles in Birmingham and I am really happy with how it came out," said Bleasdale.

"I have got a competition in Sweden next week where I will use my 4.60m poles again and I am confident I can pick up a medal at the European indoors, maybe even gold."

However Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz and world indoor champion Yamile Aldama couldn't follow suit in their high jump and triple jump events respectively.

Grabarz had to settle for second with an effort of 2.29m, four centimetres behind Russian winner Aleksey Dmitrik while Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov was third.

Meanwhile Aldama was fourth in triple jump won by Olha Saladuha although she did record a season's best of 13.91m, that one centimetre off Cristina Bujin in third.

American Michael Rodgers claimed victory in the men's 60m that saw a host of disqualifications in the semi-finals as well as the failure of Dwain Chambers to reach the final.

Chambers, racing after missing the European trials with a back injury, was fifth in his semi-final in 6.81seconds as Rodgers got the better of double Olympic champion Nesta Carter and Antoine Adams to win in 6.53.

Proctor was a victorious Briton in Birmingham, this time in the long jump, as was Levine in the men's 400m in a season's best time of 46.34.

Clitheroe was the fourth Brit to triumph on the day, proving why she is the reigning European indoor champion over 3000m from Paris in 2011 with victory in 8:50.16.

Rimmer followed suit in the 800m for British victory number five while Murielle Ahoure twice clocked the fastest indoor 60m title ever recorded in Britain to win that event.

The Ivorian sprinter finished on a best of 6.99 for the day ahead of indoor newcomer and double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce while Britain's Asha Philip was sixth in that final.

Tiffany Porter had to make do with third in 8.12 after a blanket finish involving the top six in the 60m hurdles with American Danielle Carruthers credited with the win.

Hannah England was sixth in the women's 1500m, won by Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba, clocking 4:14.70 on her first competitive appearance of the year in Birmingham.

Jenny Meadows was second in her first competitive appearance since September 2011 finishing behind Ekaterina Poistogova in the 800m but ahead of British rival Lynsey Sharp.

Perri Shakes-Drayton and Eilidh Child clocked personal bests of 51.37 and 51.50 respectively in the women's 400m won by Natasha Hastings while Gianni Frankis was fifth in the 60m hurdles.

Omo Osaghae took victory in that race while Abdalaati Iguider clocked 3:37.45 to win the men's 1500m.