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Mo Farah tipped to ease Olympics woe at Antrim Coast Half Marathon

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Striding forward: Mo Farah wins the Antrim Coast Half Marathon last year. Credit: Justin Kernoghan

Striding forward: Mo Farah wins the Antrim Coast Half Marathon last year. Credit: Justin Kernoghan

Striding forward: Mo Farah wins the Antrim Coast Half Marathon last year. Credit: Justin Kernoghan

Sir Mo Farah will attempt to ease his Olympics heartbreak with a record-breaking run in the Antrim Coast Half Marathon.

Sir Mo had hoped to challenge for Olympic gold medal No.5 when the Games get under way in Tokyo later this month but last week failed in his final attempt to achieve the 10,000m qualifying time when running at the British Championships in Manchester.

The 38-year-old, who won the 5,000m and 10,000m double at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, has shrugged off talk of retirement and organiser James McIlroy is hopeful Sir Mo - who is coached by Larne man Gary Lough - will return next month to defend his Antrim Coast Half Marathon title after he won last September’s inaugural race in a time of one hour and 27 seconds, with his own British record of 59:32 a target this time around.

McIlroy - who reached the 800m semi-finals at the Sydney 2000 Olympics - has been a close friend of Sir Mo’s since the pair roomed together on Team GB trips nearly two decades ago.

“Mo hasn’t confirmed yet but we are hopeful he will be back to defend his title. It would be particularly special to see him back next month because with Covid restrictions starting to ease people might be able to get out onto the streets to watch the race and Mo is the sort of athlete who really feeds off a crowd - it would really spur him on,” said McIlroy, grandson of Belfast Celtic legend Syd McIlroy.

“Despite not making it to the Olympics, Mo is in good shape. It just wasn’t his night in Manchester last week, a few things went against him. Sometimes that happens.”

The Antrim Coast Half Marathon, on August 29, starts and finishes in Larne and boasts a scenic flat course with record-breaking potential. Last year’s event - which is a revamped version of the long-running Larne Half Marathon - was limited to elite runners because of Covid restrictions.

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With over 100 runners in the International elite race, over 400 in the sub-elite and with record numbers entering the mass race, this year’s Antrim Coast Half Marathon will be one of the best half marathons in Europe.

The men’s race has seven men confirmed who have run under the 60-minute barrier.

Headlining the African contingent will be Jemal Yimer – winner of the Valencia Half Marathon in 2018.

Entries are now open - visit www.antrimcoasthalfmarathon.com.


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