Belfast Telegraph

Farah sets sights on Olympic joy

 

King of North: Sir Mo Farah
King of North: Sir Mo Farah

By Robert Jones

Sir Mo Farah is targeting the Tokyo Olympics after bursting clear to win the men's elite race at the Great North Run for a record sixth successive year.

Four-time Olympic champion Farah was pushed hard by Tamirat Tola, but proved too strong in the final mile for the Ethiopian to finish the 13.1-mile half-marathon course in 59 minutes and six seconds.

Tola, seven seconds behind Farah, crossed the line 42 seconds ahead of Holland's third-placed Abdi Nageeye, with Britain's Callum Hawkins coming home fourth in one hour and 39 seconds.

Farah opted to miss next month's World Athletics Championships as he prepares to defend his Chicago Marathon title - but indicated that he is intent on a marathon bid at the 2020 Olympics.

The 36-year-old said: "Things are looking good and I'm happy with the win. Tokyo is definitely on the cards - as an athlete you always want to represent your country. You just have to take it one year at a time."

In the women's elite race, Kenya's Brigid Kosgei set a new course record and and broke the world half-marathon record by finishing in a time of 1:04:28.

Kenya's women filled the top four places, but Kosgei finished over three minutes ahead of second-placed Magdalyne Masai (1:07:36), with Linet Masai third and three-time winner Mary Keitany fourth. Britain's Charlotte Purdue finished fifth in 1:08:10 and, like Hawkins, will be buoyed by her form ahead of the World Championships in Doha later this month.

British men finished first and third in the men's wheelchair race as David Weir came home first in 43:31 ahead of second-placed Canadian Brent Lakatos (43:36) and fellow Briton Simon Lawson (45:58).

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