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Saturday, January 8, 2022

Mo Farah to run 10,000m at Tokyo Olympics

Two years after retiring from the track to run marathons, Mo Farah has said he will defend his Olympic 10,000m title in Tokyo next summer.

The 36-year-old announced his decision after mulling over his disappointing 10th place at the Chicago marathon in October.

Farah has convinced himself he will be more competitive back on the track – and watched the recent world championships 10,000m final in Doha believing he could have beaten the winner, Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda, whose final lap time of 56sec was considerably slower than the Briton’s last 400m when claiming world gold in 2017.

“I decided after Chicago, not straight away, but it was on my mind,” said Farah, who confirmed he would not attempt to double up in the 5,000m. “I was watching the world championship in Doha. I watched the 10,000m, and I watch other races, and part of you gets excited.

“You’re seeing people winning medals, for your country and stuff, and you ask yourself. It almost felt like I needed to be there. I still got a chance with the Olympics. Why would you turn it down?”

Farah, who won double gold over 5,000m and 10,000m at London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics, added: “I hope I haven’t lost my speed but I’ll train hard for it and see what I can do.”

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To qualify for the 10,000m in Tokyo, Farah will need to run 27min 28sec by 21 June. However he does not have to compete at the Night of the 10k PBs in Highgate in June, which doubles as the official British trial.

The news of Farah’s track return came a day after UK Athletics launched an independent review of its botched decision to allow Farah to continue working with his former coach Alberto Salazar, who has subsequently been kicked out of the sport for suspected doping offences.

An investigation conducted by the governing body found “no reason to be concerned” about Farah’s then coach and cleared the runner to remain at the Nike Oregon Project after allegations first surfaced questioning Salazar’s practices in June 2015.

Salazar was handed a four-year ban for various doping offences last month. He denies any wrongdoing and has lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Farah or any other Nike Oregon Project athlete.

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