Sir Mo Farah has signalled that 2023 will be the final year of his athletics career after confirming he will give the London Marathon “one more shot” in April.
Farah, who turns 40 in March, also kept open the possibility of running for Great Britain at the world championships in the summer – but only if he can prove his form and avoid the injuries that have blighted the latter part of his career.
“I’m not a spring chicken any more and you can’t keep coming back and getting into races unless you are in the right shape,” he said. “And for me, I’d love to be able to finish at home and I think we are getting closer to the end of my career, for sure.”
Asked whether London could be his final race, Farah replied: “Who knows? Honestly, it depends on my body. As I’ve always said, it’s been an amazing career. But for me to be taking part in the London Marathon, it’s quite a big deal, so I’m very excited.”
Farah has raced the full London Marathon on three occasions with a best-placed finish of third in 2018, the same year he won in Chicago in a national record of 2:05:11. However he has run only intermittently in the past three years and even suffered a shock defeat to club runner Ellis Cross last May.
Yet Farah believes that he still has something to offer, especially given he was getting back into form before suffering a hip injury that forced him to pull out of last October’s London Marathon.
“Last year I was gutted to not race and seeing my training partner Bashir Abdi come third,” added Farah, who started running again at the start of December. “We’d done pretty much everything together. So I was gutted but at the same time, I just want to give it one more shot to see what I can do.”
Farah admits he has not entirely ruled out putting on a GB vest again, with the worlds taking place in Budapest in August. “I’m not going to go to the Olympics. 2023 will probably be my last year,” he said. “But if it came down to it, towards the end of the year, and you are capable and got picked for your country, then I would never turn that down.”
Meanwhile in the women’s race, organisers have confirmed that the Commonwealth 10,000m gold medallist Eilish McColgan will make her debut over 26.2 miles alongside fellow Britons Jess Piasecki and Charlotte Purdue.
But inevitably most British eyes will be on Farah, who said he was looking forward to running in front of 750,000 people in London again.
“What keeps me going is I love what I do,” he said. “It’s been tough the last three years with injuries but when I’m out there running I’m in such a good mood. It’s making the most of it while I can.
“I’ve had an amazing career, with four Olympic gold medals and representing my country for many, many years,” he added. “I’m very proud of what I have achieved. I’ve got nothing to prove.”