Mo Farah hinting at shock track return in World Championships
35-year-old could bid to defend 10,000m title in October after switching to the marathon
Mo Farah celebrates winning 10,000m gold in the 2017 World Championships in London. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Mo Farah has given his strongest indication yet that he will make a shock return to the track to run in the 10,000m at the world championships in October.
Farah, who moved to the marathon last year, said watching Laura Muir storm to European Indoor 1500m and 3,000m gold last weekend made him realise how much he missed the track.
“I do, I miss it, that sort of atmosphere Laura got,” he said. “You get it in the London Marathon more than anything else, but I do miss the track, I do miss representing my country, and competing on home soil. Part of me, when I watch track races, I’m like: ‘Can I still do it? I want to do it.’”
The 35-year-old, who has returned from a training camp in Ethiopia to compete in the Vitality Big Half in London on Sunday, also said he did not think the 10,000m had moved on since he claimed his third world title in London two years ago.
“Seeing the results it hasn’t really changed,” said Farah. “The athletes doing well are in 1500m indoors, the mile, the young Norwegian kid [Jakob Ingebrigtsen], but in terms of long distances it hasn’t really changed much and that’s part of me thinking: ‘Have I still got it?’”
His coach, Gary Lough, hinted last year the 10,000m in Doha was a possibility, but this is the first time Farah has confirmed it. And while he stressed no decision would be taken until after the London Marathon, he said running in Doha in October and a city marathon in November is feasible.
“It does work but it all depends on the result in London,” said Farah, who would not have to qualify for the 10,000m in Doha as he is the reigning world champion. “But having seen my fellow athletes I’ve competed against in the past [in the 10km], and watching the European Indoors on TV, I was thinking: ‘Oh man! I want to get back out there.’
“If I was taking part in Doha [over 10,000m] you will definitely see me in one or two races and you wouldn’t want to turn up,” he added. “I need to blow cobwebs away.”
Farah also paid tribute to the next generation of British athletes, such as Muir and Dina Asher-Smith, saying their success over the past year illustrated the power of hard work, belief and good preparation.
“It is great to see Laura and Dina doing so well,” he said. “We have a younger generation coming through believing. They used to look at you asking: ‘How can you do that?’ and it shows what you can do if you work hard and graft and have a good programme.
“In your mind if you believe enough then you can achieve it. If they can do well at the Euros, then why not the world stage and the Olympics?”
Farah also indicated he may not retire after next year’s Olympics, as has been widely assumed, and that he would keep running as long as he was competitive. “Eliud Kipchoge [the marathon world record holder] is showing us the way. What he’s doing [at 34]is incredible.
“As long as my body lets me continue what I am doing and I keep enjoying it, then I will keep doing it. 2020 is not too far away. My aim is to keep running, keep enjoying it, and win the London Marathon.”
Farah, who faces former London Marathon champions Daniel Wanjiru and Wilson Kipsang over 13.1 miles on Sunday, confirmed he was in good shape for the race. “I would love to be able to run really fast but with the course it is not ideal,” he said. - Guardian