Firm’s gadget part of Mo’s Respi for success

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A firm from Hemel Hempstead may have helped propel Mo Farah to Olympic gold with its innovative training aid.

Opro 360 supplied the top athlete’s training coach with a RespiBelt, which is designed to put more load on the muscles connected to breathing.

Lisa Crossley, marketing manager at the Mark Road firm, said: “We’re thrilled – if we have played a part that’s a great honour for us.

“We’re delighted to have been involved, if only in some small way, in helping towards Mo Farah’s success.”

The RespiBelt has been developed in partnership with Loughborough University and is used by running coach Alberto Salazar, who works with Farah and USA athlete Galen Rupp.

Farah won gold in the 10,000 metres while Rupp took silver. Farah also won gold in the 5,000 metres.

The device fits around the lower chest and ribcage to provide a training load to the breathing muscles as the chest expands during breathing.

Ross Weir, co-founder of Progressive Sports Technologies, a spin-off company from the university, said: “We’re delighted with the epic achievements of Mo Farah and Galen Rupp.

“Both produced a killer kick in the final crucial stages to secure their medals and it’s wonderful to know that our invention may have helped them to realise their Olympic dreams.”

Opro 360 also produces mouthguards and supplied them to Team GB’s hockey squads.

MP Mike Penning, who was fitted for a custom mouthguard during a visit in June, said of the RespiBelt: “I am delighted a Hemel Hempstead-based company is manufacturing such an innovative product – especially as it has played a part in securing an Olympic gold for Team GB.”

The company makes 100,000 bespoke teeth protectors a year.