London Marathon organisers hoping to secure Mo Farah return for next year

• Farah finished third in a race won by Eliud Kipchoge
• Coach Gary Lough backs him to challenge winner in future

London Marathon organisers are already lining up Mo Farah to run in next year’s race while his coach, Gary Lough, believes he could yet reach a “similar level” as the winner this year, Eliud Kipchoge.

The 35-year-old Farah is yet to decide on his next race over 26.2 miles but the likelihood is he will choose an autumn marathon in Chicago or New York – with Dubai in January an outside bet – before returning to the British capital next April. It is a prospect which one senior London Marathon figure told the Guardian they “would love to see happen”.

Lough believes the performance on Sunday showed that, while Kipchoge – who has not lost since 2013 – is the greatest in history, Farah is capable of putting him under pressure by running a time of 2hr 3min or 2:04 in the future.

“Eliud is the best marathon runner ever,” Lough said. “But I think Mo can get to a similar level – of being either one or two in the world. And if you put him into a championship environment, like next year in the world championships in Doha or certainly the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, I definitely think Mo should be someone people have got major concerns about. He wants to be the best that he can be – and that is going to be one of the best in the world.”

Farah’s agent, Ricky Simms, meanwhile, has dismissed any suggestions that the runner’s former coach Alberto Salazar, who remains under investigation by the US Anti-Doping Agency, played any part in the 35-year-old’s success in London.

“I can assure you that Gary is 100% Mo’s coach and there is no other influence from me or anyone else at all,” Simms told the Guardian. “Maybe Alberto sent him a good luck message for the race, not that there’s any problem with it, but I don’t think they have communicated. The hidden conspiracy theory, that he is being coached by Alberto, is complete rubbish.”

Simms also suggested that there was obvious room for improvement in Farah’s time of 2:06:21 – and that, if he had not had gone off so quickly in temperatures that hit 24C (75F) or had problems with his water bottles, he might have recorded a faster time.

“Mo has shown he can be a very good marathon runner,” Simms said. “On Sunday he ran 61 minutes for the first half and 64 for the second. If he goes through halfway in 62 or 62:15, I would love to have seen how he came back, because the fast early pace and missing his bottles meant he lost a lot of time at the end.”

Simms paid tribute to Farah, who some had thought was doing the London Marathon purely for a final payday after retiring from the track last September. “I have been with him on track races when he has not been fit and he has still been able to grind it out and win,” he said.

“He has got such determination. He won’t lie down. He has been winning for a number of years. He likes winning. He does not like not winning as much as anyone as I have met, so that determination to keep winning is there. He has a pride to do well.”


Sean Ingle

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Mo Farah to run 2019 London marathon but leaves door open for track return in Tokyo
Mo Farah has confirmed that he will run in the 2019 London marathon but admitted he could try for a third 10,000m gold at Tokyo 2020

Sean Ingle

20, Nov, 2018 @2:15 PM

Article image
Eliud Kipchoge to give Mo Farah ultimate test in 2018 London Marathon
Eliud Kipchoge, who ran the third-fastest marathon in 2016, will face Mo Farah in the London Marathon next year

Sean Ingle

30, Nov, 2017 @7:05 PM

Article image
London Marathon chief urges Mo Farah to take inspiration from Kipchoge
Mo Farah has been urged not to make any hasty decisions about retirement and to take inspiration from world record holder Eliud Kipchoge when he returns to run the London Marathon on Sunday

Sean Ingle

27, Sep, 2022 @11:16 AM

Article image
Mo Farah hopes to battle with the best at London Marathon despite 2014 pain
Mo Farah believes he can compete with the very best during Sunday’s London Marathon despite failing to deliver during his first attempt at 26.2 miles in 2014

Sean Ingle

17, Apr, 2018 @5:29 PM

Article image
‘This is it. My last marathon’: Farah asks activists not to disrupt London farewell
Mo Farah said ‘Maybe there will be tears. I’m coming to the end of my career,’ after making plea as security is ramped up for Sunday’s race

Sean Ingle

20, Apr, 2023 @6:05 PM

Article image
Mo Farah to give London Marathon ‘one more shot’ before likely retirement
The four-time Olympic champion has struggled with injuries in recent seasons and admits ‘this will probably be my last year’ in competitive athletics

Sean Ingle

31, Jan, 2023 @12:01 AM

Article image
Mo Farah tainted by Salazar link, says British marathon record holder
Steve Jones has been highly critical of Mo Farah’s work with his former coach and also expects Farah to claim his record at the London Marathon

Sean Ingle

19, Apr, 2018 @9:29 PM

Article image
Mo Farah won't go with early pace at London marathon

Mo Farah plans to run more slowly than his rivals for the first half of Sunday's London Marathon in the hope of picking them off when they tire

Sean Ingle

09, Apr, 2014 @9:24 PM

Article image
Mo Farah finishes eighth in London Marathon as Wilson Kipsang wins

Mo Farah failed to break the British record in his first attempt at 26.2 miles but insisted he would be back, while Kenya's Edna Kiplagat won the women's race

Sean Ingle at the Mall

13, Apr, 2014 @11:31 AM

Article image
Mo Farah sets out on road to glory with British marathon record in sights
After finishing eighth – and in pain – four years ago Britain’s most successful athlete now has to contend with Eliud Kipchoge, the Olympic champion, and Kenenisa Bekele

Sean Ingle

20, Apr, 2018 @9:00 PM