Mo Farah has been urged not to make any hasty decisions about retirement and to take inspiration from the world record holder Eliud Kipchoge when he returns to run the London Marathon on Sunday.
Farah, who turns 40 in March, has looked a shadow of his best over the past couple of seasons. However the London Marathon’s event director, Hugh Brasher, said it would be wrong to write him off after a couple of poor performances.
“I think Eliud is proving aged 37 and running a PB that the age barriers that we used to think existed do not necessarily now exist,” Brasher said.
“I think that what we should be doing is allowing Mo time to decide what he wants. One bad performance, a couple of bad performances, do not mean that people should write somebody off. He is an absolutely superb athlete and he will always be welcome back.
“I hope he runs fantastically well but you never can tell because marathon running is the hardest thing. If you’re 99% not 100% you won’t get away with it – it’s really, really hard.”
Farah has given no indication he plans to retire yet, despite failing to qualify for the Olympics last year or any major championships in 2022. And Brasher made it clear he would be delighted for him to run in London next year – and also promised him a special retirement send-off when he decided to finally quit.
“The door will always be open to Mo – he is Britain’s greatest endurance athlete in terms of number of Olympic gold medals and world championship gold medals. We have a long history with him, going back to the mini marathon through the fact that we supported him through his university time, which is something that’s not publicised.
“When you look at what happened with Paula Radcliffe, her final run was in the London Marathon in 2015. It was the most incredible send-off that I think that the British crowd were ever able to give any athlete and they came out in their droves. Whenever Mo decides to do his last marathon we would absolutely love it to be London. I think the crowd would love it. He should be celebrated.”