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Mo Farah says turning his attention to running marathons has helped him get his mojo back as he prepares to take on world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge on the streets of London on Sunday.
Four-time Olympic champion 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.
Farah will be keen to focus on the race after the run-up to the event was dominated by an extraordinary feud with Haile Gebrselassie, which has seen the pair publicly swap accusations about events at the retired Ethiopian’s hotel.
Farah, 36, who has hinted that he may come out of retirement from track events and compete at Tokyo 2020, said running marathons had revitalised him.
“I am happy and I am enjoying it,” he said. “I am still waking up in the morning hungry and when I moved on from the track I feel like I am more hungry.
“When I turned up to the track and you are winning so many times you get used to it. I don’t have that. I feel like I have got my mojo back.”
The Briton said his duel with Kenya’s Kipchoge is good for the profile of the sport.
Kipchoge shattered the world record in the marathon in Berlin last September, clocking 2 hours, one minutes and 39 seconds to shave 78 seconds off the previous mark.
The Kenyan, chasing a fourth title in London, has won ten of the 11 races he’s contested over the distance, including the 2016 Olympic title.
In the women’s race, defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot, 35, is gearing up for a battle against three-time winner and fellow Kenyan Mary Keitany, who has also won four times in New York.
Keitany, 37, is delighted to be back in London.
“It means a lot to me and it’s not something I take for granted. It’s very special to me and my family,” she said.
“If I win on Sunday, it would be special too. I have won New York four times and London three times, so I want to win on Sunday to match.”
Kenya’s Abraham Kiptum suspended
But it’s not been so positive for all of Kenya’s elites. Abraham Kiptum, the world record holder in the half-marathon, was ruled out of the London Marathon on Friday after being provisionally suspended over irregularities in his biological passport, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced.
London Marathon LIVE updates
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London Marathon 2019: Live broadcast channels around the world
Subscriptions are required for some of the channels below.
- UK – BBC One and Two and Eurosport UK
- USA – NBC Sports Gold
- Brazil – SporTV
- Burkino Faso – RTB
- Canada – Flotrack
- China – Migu Video
- Democratic Republic of Congo – RTNC
- Europe and Pan Asia (98 countries) – Eurosport
- Guinea – RTGJapan – The Olympic Channel
- Kenya – Citizen TV
- Middle East (25 countries)** – The Olympic Channel
- New Zealand – Sky Sport
- Norway – NRK
- Pan Africa (48 countries)*** – Super Sport
- Pan Latin America (21 countries)**** – ESPN
- Seychelles – SBC