Mo Farah Announces Return to the Track

After two years trying to master the marathon, Mo is trying to get to Tokyo via the track.

  • On his YouTube page, four-time Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah announced that he is targeting a comeback to the track for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
  • After two years competing in the marathon, Farah said he will attempt to make the Great Britain Olympic team in the 10,000 meters.

After two years of marathon racing, Mo Farah has decided to return to the track for the 2020 Olympic Games.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist from Great Britain made the announcement on his YouTube channel November 29.

“I decided Tokyo 2020, I’m going to be back on the track,” Farah said in the video. “I’m really excited to compete back on the track and give it a go in the 10,000 meters.”

Farah’s last track championship was the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London where he won gold in the 10,000 meters and earned silver in the 5,000 meters. The six-time world champion’s last track race was August 24, 2017 when he won the 5,000 meters at the 2017 Zurich Diamond League meet.

In the years since his departure from the track—where he claimed double Olympic gold in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games—Farah has been tested in the marathon distance.

“It’s been a great learning curve for me,” Farah said in the video of his training for 26.2. (He also left Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar two years ago when focusing on his marathon training.)

In April 2018, he ran a British national record on his way to finishing third in 2:06:21 at the London Marathon. In October of that year, he won his first Abbott World Marathon Major when he broke the tape at the 2018 Chicago Marathon in 2:05:11, a European record.

The 2019 season has been more challenging for the 36-year-old. In April, he finished fifth at the London Marathon in 2:05:39, well behind Eliud Kipchoge’s winning time of 2:02:37. After London, which Farah referred to as a disappointment, he attempted to use the experience as a learning opportunity to gear up for the Chicago Marathon in October. But he was unable to defend his crown and finished a distant eighth in 2:09:58, over four minutes behind winner Lawrence Cherono.

In July 2019, Farah teased a track comeback for the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, when he posted a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #Doha10K. But instead of competing in the 10,000 meters in Doha, Farah opted to focus his efforts on running the Chicago Marathon.

While Farah ran the roads this fall, his younger rival Joshua Cheptegei lit up the track on his way to winning gold in the 10,000 meters on October 6.

Two years ago, the Ugandan standout finished second to Farah at the world championships. With a last-lap sprint, the 23-year-old upgraded to gold in Doha when he beat indoor mile world record-holder Yomif Kejelcha by one second. Cheptegei’s winning time of 26:48.36 was the fastest in the world this year. Farah’s personal best in the 10,000 meters is 26:46:57 from the 2011 Prefontaine Classic.

After two years of marathon training, Farah expressed excitement for his return to the arena where his career took off.

“Hopefully I haven’t lost my speed, but I’ll train hard for it and see what I can do,” Farah said.


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