Mo Farah can overcome the setback of his hip injury and return to his best form, says legend Eliud Kipchoge after Britain’s four-time Olympic champion pulled out of the London Marathon
- Farah, 39, withdrew from Sunday’s London Marathon because of a hip injury
- He is just one of several dropouts from the elite field of the 26.2-mile race
- But the British Olympic legend has had the support of Kenyan star Kipchoge
- Kipchoge will also only be there in a ceremonial role after breaking the world record in Berlin last weekend
With an injured body and failing strength, Mo Farah will be confined to watching Sunday’s London Marathon but has been encouraged to extend his career by the best ever.
Farah’s retirement with a hip problem is one of a number of misfortunes that befell the race organizers, who saw their elite fields badly hit in the run-up to injuries.
It has also raised suspicions that his days as a track and field athlete may be over at the age of 39, as sources have previously suggested he may have lost time if his performance in the capital proved he was no longer among the front runners heard .
Mo Farah had to pull out of Sunday’s London Marathon due to a hip injury
Sir Mo Farah won a warm-up race earlier this month in preparation for the London Marathon
However, he has received confirmation from Eliud Kipchoge, who will play a ceremonial role at the race while recovering from his marathon world record in Berlin last weekend.
The gorgeous Kenyan, 37, who is doing well, said: “Mo Farah can definitely go on. I wish him a speedy recovery from the injury. Injuries are one of the challenges of top-class sport.
“I think Mo will come back stronger. The training is there and he can come back and show the world what this man is really made of.
“Age is a number. If you train well and stay focused on what you’re doing, you can keep performing. He can still win the best races. Mo Farah has a lot more to give.”
Kipchoge broke the marathon world record in Berlin last weekend with a time of 2:01.09
It’s saying something for the multitude of leavers, including Brigid Kosgei, Eilish McColgan, Vincent Kipchumba and Mosinet Geremew, that many eyes will be drawn to Kipchoge and off-road on Sunday.
With the four-time champion watching rather than running, the uncertainty surrounding the winner of the men’s race will increase.
In the questionable view of some bookmakers, his place as favorite will be Kenenisa Bekele, that aging track to cross-country champion who by his own admission is the greatest distance athlete of all time.
Speaking to a handful of reporters on Saturday, Kipchoge shared that sentiment, saying, “I agree that Kenenisa is the best of all time. He has many medals in cross country, track, Olympics and he has done well in the marathon. I agree he is the best.
Kenenisa Bekele has admitted he considers himself the greatest long-distance runner of all time
He wants to win the London Marathon for the first time this Sunday at the age of 40
“He was a positive role model for me and the whole generation. He won so much.’
Bekele’s achievements are undisputed as the Ethiopian is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, 17-time world champion and former holder of world records at 5,000m and 10,000m, as well as being the second fastest marathoner in history.
However, at the age of 40 and without great marathon form since his 2:01.41 run in 2019, better arguments could be made for Amos Kipruto, Bashir Abdi or Sisay Lemma, the defending champion.
The women’s race will be highlighted by the possibilities surrounding fast-rising 23-year-old Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw.
Earlier this year, she clocked 2:17.23 in Hamburg – the fastest marathon debut ever – and holds the world 10K road record, so could threaten Mary Keitany’s 2017 course record of 2:17.01.