Farah could return to track next year, says coach Lough

Briton Mo Farah crosses the line to win the 41st Chicago Marathon on Sunday, announcing himself as a threat to world record holder Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya.
Briton Mo Farah crosses the line to win the 41st Chicago Marathon on Sunday, announcing himself as a threat to world record holder Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON • Mo Farah's coach, Gary Lough, has hinted that the four-time Olympic champion may consider a surprise return to the track at the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) World Championships in Doha next year.

Farah looked hugely impressive in winning the Chicago marathon on Sunday in a European-record time of 2hr 5min 11sec, and Lough raised the possibility afterwards that the 35-year-old Briton might "surprise a few people".

"He will sit down with a few of us and look at his general plan for next year," Lough said, before confirming that Farah's plans for Doha had not yet been firmed up.

"He really wants to run the world championships, but what he runs at the world championships hasn't been decided."

That raises the possibility that Farah might consider running the 10,000m - an event for which he would not have to qualify as the reigning champion from last year's championships in London.

When such a scenario was put to Lough, he said he was "not suggesting anything" but nothing could be ruled out, with Farah looking to "change things up a bit next year".

Lough also warned the world marathon record holder, Eliud Kipchoge, that Farah would be his biggest threat in the future.

The Kenyan and 2016 Rio Games gold medallist set the mark of 2:01:39 at last month's Berlin Marathon.

"Right at this time, Mo is the second-best in the world but who is to know what will happen in six months?" he said.

"Eliud has been doing this (for) a long time. We don't know what he will do between now and Tokyo (Olympics in 2020) and we don't know what Mo will do.

"But if I was stepping on the line against him in a marathon in the Olympics, I would be worried about Mo Farah."

Farah also felt that his performance in Chicago was a warning to other competitors that he was a force to be reckoned with in the marathon.

"They have seen me take control of a race. It is a similar thing I have done on the track over the years - building your character, yourself, being able to control races," he said.

"It is a good thing and it has given me a bit more credit when I turn up."

Although he conceded that Kipchoge was the better marathon runner, Farah was bullish about his chances against the rest of the world.

"I can beat anyone else. I definitely think I am capable of mixing it," he added.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2018, with the headline 'Farah could return to track next year, says coach Lough'. Print Edition | Subscribe