Four-time Olympic gold medallist announces return to track running to defend his 10k title after focusing on marathon
Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah has announced he will be "back on the track" at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The British long-distance runner announced, in a video posted on his youtube channel, his intention to switch back to the track from road running, where he had been focusing on the marathon distance (42.2km) since August 2017.
"Next year, I’ve decided: at Tokyo 2020, I’m going to be back on a track." the 36-year old said.
"I’m really excited to compete back on a track and give it a go in the 10,000m," - Mo Farah
"Hopefully I haven’t lost my speed, I’ll train hard for it and see what I can do." he added.
Farah is defending champion both in the 5,000m and 10,000m, but will target only the longer distance in Japan.
Farah switched to the road after the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, where he won his 6th world title on the track, the third in the 10,000m.
That followed the four Olympic gold medals won on the track at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
In 2018, he finished third at the London marathon in a time of 2:06:22, setting the new British record.
The same year, the Somali-born runner won his first marathon race, in Chicago, in the new European best time of 2:05:11.
In 2019, Farah finished fifth place at the London Marathon, while he failed to defend his title in Chicago as he crossed the line over four minutes behind winner Lawrence Kerono of Kenya.
"It’s been really exciting to compete at the marathon in the last couple of years," he revealed when announcing his track return on Friday (29th November).
"It’s been a good learning curve for me, the training was totally different to the track."
In 2017 Farah split from renown track coach Alberto Salazar, who later received a four-year ban for doping violations.
The most decorated athlete in British athletics history was questioned by media for his involvement with the coach but insisted he hadn't "done anything wrong"
"I have not failed any tests and I am happy to be tested anytime anywhere," Farah said ahead of this year's Chicago Marathon.
During his time with Salazar, the four-time Olympic champion trained at the Nike Oregon Project, which was shut down by the American brand in October 2019.
The news of Farah's track return comes a day after UK Athletics announced an independent review into its own relationship with Salazar and the Oregon project.
If Farah does qualify, and make it to Tokyo 2020, it would be his fourth Olympic Games.