LONDON – Britain’s Mo Farah has turned down the chance to contest the marathon at this year’s world championships in Doha, increasing the possibility of a return to the track.
Farah, who finished fifth in Sunday’s London Marathon, had been eligible for selection for the British team, but has opted to decline his place.
The 36-year-old four-time Olympic champion could now target a fourth successive world title over 10,000 metres instead, having claimed gold in Moscow in 2013, Beijing in 2015 and London in 2017.
Farah turned his back on the track in 2017 to concentrate on long-distance road running, finishing third in London last year and claiming the European record when winning his first marathon in Chicago in October but he finished more than three minutes behind Kenyan winner Eliud Kipchoge on Sunday.
Earlier this year Farah hinted at a potential return to the track at the world championships.
"Having seen my fellow athletes, who I’ve competed against in the past, and watching the European indoor championships on TV, I was thinking ‘Oh man, I want to get back out there’," Farah said in early March.
"If things are going well and I’ve got a chance to win a medal, then I’d love to come back and run for my country but my aim now is to concentrate on the marathon," he added.
Farah’s build-up to the London event was dominated by an extraordinary feud with Haile Gebrselassie, which saw the pair publicly swap accusations about events at the retired Ethiopian athletics legend’s hotel.
High temperatures for the world championships in Doha starting in late September mean the marathon will be run at night, with the race beginning at 11.59 pm.