LONDON, United
Kingdom
– British distance-running great Mo Farah has withdrawn from next
month’s Big Half race in London with an achilles injury, organisers announced
on Wednesday.

The four-time Olympic gold medallist, preparing for the 2020
Games in Tokyo, suffered the minor injury in training.

Farah, 36, has won the half-marathon event for the past two
years and was due to take on a field featuring Ethiopia star Kenenisa Bekele on
March 1.

“I was really looking forward to racing the Vitality
Big Half again,” said Farah in a statement issued by event organisers.

“Everyone knows how much I love racing in London, but
my priority is to be fit, healthy and competitive for the summer season and for
that reason I have had to make the tough decision not to race this year.”

Farah will continue his Olympic preparations in Africa after
changing his mind about running the marathon in Tokyo to return to the track,
having won double gold over 5,000 metres and 10,000m at the London 2012 and Rio
2016 Games.

He won the 2018 Chicago marathon in a European record time
but could only manage a fifth-place finish at last year’s London Marathon.

Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder, is the favourite to
win marathon gold in Tokyo. Farah is set to defend his 10,000m title in Japan
instead.

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