Mo Farah admits that the European 3,000m record is in his sights when he gets his outdoor track season under way in Doha on Friday.
The 32-year-old says he wants to “test himself” – and, having broken the world indoor record over two miles and the European half-marathon record so far in 2015, believes he can take a serious crack at the Belgian Mohammed Mourhit’s European 3,000m record of 7min 26.62sec.
“I don’t normally start this early but training has been going well and it’s a fast track so I wanted to test myself,” said Farah, who says he believes he will run under 7:30. “You’ve got to race rather than go for times – and you have to respect the guys – but it is possible.”
Even though Farah is only the sixth fastest in the field over 3,000m, he is a solid favourite. However, he will have to be somewhere near his best to beat a high-quality field, which includes the talented Ethiopians Yenew Alamirew and Hagos Gebrhiwet, who took silver behind Farah in the Moscow world championships.
The Kenyan challenge is represented by Edwin Soi, who took 5,000m bronze at the Beijing Olympics, as well as Thomas Longosiwa and Isiah Kiplangat Koech, both of whom have won 5,000m bronze medals behind Farah – at the London 2012 Olympics and 2013 Moscow world championships respectively. However, Caleb Mwangangi, the brilliant and brash 22-year-old who won 5,000m gold at the Commonwealth Games last year, has had to pull out of a much-anticipated showdown with Farah because he is still recovering from surgery on his knee.
Farah, meanwhile, has revealed he plans to stay on the track until the 2017 world championships before attempting another marathon. Farah ran disappointingly at the London Marathon last year, finishing in 2hr 8min 21sec but said he had no regrets at stepping up. “I would have wanted a better result, but sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t,” he said. “I will probably carry on until 2017, the London world championships, and then after that go on to the marathon.”
Farah was speaking after Dahlan al-Hamad, the International Association of Atheltics Federations vice-president who is a Qatari, confirmed that Doha was planning to press ahead with a night marathon when it hosts the 2019 world championships. “Innovation is something that we need,” he insisted.
Other British athletes running in the Diamond League opener include James Dasaolu, who faces Justin Gatlin in the men’s 100m, and Tiffany Porter, who takes on the Olympic 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson. Bianca Williams competes in the 200m, while Jack Green continues his return to athletics after being out for over a year with depression by running in the 400m hurdles.
Mohammed Aman and Asbel Kiprop, the men’s 800m and 1500m world champions, and the women’s 200m Olympic champion, Allyson Felix, will also be competing.
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