Three years having opted for road races, the star of British athletics Mo Farah makes his comeback on the track on Friday in Brussels and wants to strike hard from the start by attacking Haile Gebreselassie's hour record.
The quadruple Olympic champion (5,000m and 10,000m in 2012 and 2016) announced last year that he wanted to resume service on tartan with the goal of competing in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 over 10,000m.
The Olympics have certainly been postponed for a year due to coronavirus but the runner of Somali origin (37 years old) has remained true to his idea and he is passing through the Roi-Baudoin stadium to try to add a line of more to an already well supplied track record but where records are rare.
“I'm very excited, as a kid, I missed the track a lot and it's great to be in a stadium again. Haile's record means a lot to me. ”
“I'm very excited, as a kid, I missed the track a lot and it's great to be in a stadium again.
Haile's record means a lot to me. ”
The goal will be to do better than the 21.285 km traveled by Ethiopian legend Haile Gebreselassie on June 27, 2007. “I'm very excited, as a child, I missed the track a lot and it's great to be back again in a stadium.
Haile's record means a lot to me (...) It's nice to be able to make history.
It is not the Olympics but having a world record is something phenomenal ”, declared the six-time world champion, who prepared in France at Font-Romeu and will be accompanied in Brussels by his companion in particular. 'training the Belgian Bashir Abdi, 2nd European performer of all time on marathon (2h04'49' 'in March in Tokyo).
All eyes on Tokyo
Farah has not been idle since 2017 with a success in the Chicago marathon (2018) with the European record (2h05'11 '', time beaten by the Turkish Kaan Kigen Özbilen in 2019) and a 3rd place in London (2018).
However, he was never really able to dispute the superiority of the master of the distance Eliud Kipchoge.
The Briton will also find the bitumen over 42.195 km on October 4 in London, but only as the luxury hare of the Kenyan and the Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the two fastest marathoners in history whose duel makes us salivate in advance.
With the marathon parenthesis almost closed, Farah now has her eyes riveted on Tokyo.
"It's a strange year, especially with the postponement of the Olympics," he explained.
It may be a good thing for me, I will have time to go shopping, to gain confidence. ”
For Farah, it is also about restoring his image while his image was tarnished by the suspension for "incitement" to doping in September 2019 of Alberto Salazar, his mentor and trainer from 2011 to 2017.
Duplantis, always higher?
Farah will not be the only one chasing a record in Brussels since the Dutch Sifan Hassan and the Kenyan Brigid Kosgei will try to imitate her in the ladies and go further than the Ethiopian Dire Tune Arissi (18.517 km in one hour in 2008) while the Kenyan Faith Kipyegon hopes to erase Russian Svetlana Masterkova from the shelves over 1.000m (2'28''98 in 1996).
Covid-19 requires, the evening will take place behind closed doors but the athletes will benefit, as in Oslo and Monaco this season, from a light signal projected at the edge of the track which will tell them exactly how fast to run to stay in the good tempo of records.
To spice up the meeting even more, the organizers can also count on the Swedish pole vault prodigy Armand Duplantis (20 years old).
The world record holder (6.18m, February 15 indoors) is in brilliant shape and has just achieved a top-notch performance with a 6.07m jump on Wednesday in Lausanne, his best outdoor result.
He could very well steal the show from Mo Farah.
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