Farah has Rio on his mind in Cardiff test
FINDING motivation has never been a worry for Mo Farah but the double Olympic champion has insisted his surprise defeat in Edinburgh in January might prove to be the catalyst for a successful defence of his titles this summer.
The 33-year-old will shake off a bout of sickness to aim at a fresh conquest in today’s IAAF world half-marathon championships in Cardiff, with the biennial event serving as an essential part of his build-up towards Rio.
Despite skipping last weekend’s world indoors near his Oregon home to focus on the Welsh outing, victory will be a tough ask for the European record holder who lines up against defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor as well as his Kenyan compatriots Bedan Karoki and Stanley Biwott, the top three in the 2015 rankings. But Farah claims coming second in the capital’s International XC might have been the spur he needed to reset his focus.
“It was tough,” he said. “As an athlete, you don’t want to lose any race, particularly at home. But it’s where I was at. My body can’t lie. You get some days when you go back and see what went wrong, how you lose the race, what happened, how am I training?
“I knew training was going OK but it wasn’t where I needed to be. It kind of gave me a wake-up. I went away, had a good six weeks, came back and won in Glasgow indoors. Then I was training and this is another test.”
Farah acknowledges that winning rather than times will be the key factor in today’s race. “It will be tactical race,” he said. “This is part of my journey to Rio, so it’s important to come away with a good result and then go and analyse it with my coach and plan the season. It’s a great opportunity to get another world title if I do come away with a win.”
Farah will be joined in the British team by Rio marathon hopeful Callum Hawkins who lowered his personal best to 62 minutes and 36 seconds in Paris earlier this month. The 23-year-old Scot will seek another reassuring performance ahead of next month’s Olympic trials in the London Marathon. “This will be my first world championships as a senior athlete, so it’s something to celebrate and look forward to,” he said.
GROWN UP: Callum Hawkins will take part in his first world championships as a senior athlete in Cardiff.