Mo Farah can overcome adversity from hip injury and return at his best, legend Eliud Kipchoge says after British four-time Olympic gold medalist withdrew from London marathon
- Farah, 39, withdrew from the London Marathon on Sunday due to a hip injury
- He is just one of many pullouts from the elite fields in the 26.2 mile race
- But the British Olympic legend has gained the support of Kenyan star Kipchoge
- Kipchoge will also be there alone in a ceremonial role after breaking the world record in Berlin last weekend
With an injured body and dwindling strength, Mo Farah will be limited to a brief viewing session during Sunday’s London Marathon, but he has been encouraged to extend his career with the best there has ever been.
Farah’s withdrawal with a hip problem is one of the many setbacks befell the race organizers, who have seen their elite fields hit hard by injury in the lead up to the build-up.
It has also raised suspicions that at the age of 39, his days of competitive athletics could be over, with sources previously indicating that he might have called if his performance in the capital proved he is no longer among the frontrunners.
Mo Farah had to withdraw from Sunday’s London Marathon due to a hip injury
Sir Mo Farah had won a warm-up race in preparation for the London Marathon earlier this month
However, he has received an endorsement from Eliud Kipchoge, who will play a ceremonial role during the race as he recovers from breaking his marathon world record last weekend in Berlin.
The wonderful Kenyan, 37 and doing well, said: ‘Absolutely, Mo Farah can still go on. I wish him a speedy recovery from his injury. Injuries are part of the challenges of top sport.
“I think Mo will come back stronger. The training is there and he can come back and show the world what is really in this man.
“Age is a number. If you train well and are focused on what you are doing, you can continue to perform. He can still win the best races. Mo Farah has a lot more to give.’
Kipchoge broke the marathon world record last weekend by running 2:01.09 in Berlin
It says something for the multitude of recordings, including Brigid Kosgei, Eilish McColgan, Vincent Kipchumba and Mosinet Geremew, that many eyes will be drawn to Kipchoge and away from the road on Sunday.
With the four-time champion watching instead of running, uncertainty surrounding the winner of the men’s race will increase.
In the dubious opinion of some bookmakers, Kenenisa Bekele will be his favourite, that aging master of everything from the track to the cross who, in his own estimation, is the greatest distance athlete of all time.
Speaking to a handful of reporters on Saturday, Kipchoge shared that assessment, saying: “I agree that Kenenisa is the greatest of all time. He has many medals in cross country, track and field, Olympics and he has done well in the marathon. I agree he is the best.
Kenenisa Bekele has admitted that he thinks he is the greatest long-distance runner of all time
He offers to win the London Marathon for the first time this Sunday at the age of 40
“He has been a positive role model for me and the entire generation. He has won so much.’
Bekele’s achievements are beyond question, with the Ethiopian a three-time Olympic gold medalist, 17-time world champion and former holder of world records in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, as well as the second fastest marathoner in history. .
However, at 40 and with no great marathon form since his 2:01.41 run in 2019, better arguments for this race could be made for Amos Kipruto, Bashir Abdi or Sisay Lemma, the defending champion.
The women’s race is lit up by the possibilities surrounding fast-rising Ethiopian 23-year-old Yalemzerf Yehualaw.
She clocked 2:17.23 in Hamburg earlier this year – the fastest marathon debut ever – and holds the world 10km road record, so Mary Keitany’s course record of 2:17.01, set in 2017, could be in jeopardy.