News & Media

Sir Mo Farah in confident mood as he gets set to defend title

Sir Mo Farah is looking forward to defending his title at The Vitality Big Half on Sunday and getting his first real indication of how his preparations for the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon are shaping up.

The Vitality Big Half, which will be screened live on the BBC Red Button on Sunday, is Farah’s first race since he won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon last October and comes seven weeks before he bids for a dream victory at the Virgin Money London Marathon.

The four-time Olympic champion has flown in from his Ethiopian training camp especially for Sunday’s race where he will face two former London Marathon winners: Wilson Kipsang and Daniel Wanjiru.

Farah said: “Sunday’s race is really important to me. It’s the last race before the Virgin Money London Marathon. The most important thing for me is to see what I can do in the race, where I am (in my preparation) and what I need to do to get ready for the London Marathon. It’s nice to test myself but, as well, when you are racing in London, you want to win in your home town.

“Wilson (Kipsang) and Daniel (Wanjiru) are both strong athletes, really strong. Both of them have won the London Marathon and if you have done that then you have to be world class. It will be nice to test myself against them and to see they are ready for London, too.”

Farah won last year’s race in 61 minutes and 40 seconds and told a press conference on Friday that he would like to run faster than that on Sunday if conditions are good.

As well as the Kenyan duo of Kipsang and Wanjiru, the elite field will contain a strong contingent of British athletes including Dewi Griffiths, Andy Vernon and Jonny Mellor.

The BBC Red Button coverage of the race begins at 08:45 on Sunday morning. The race is also being streamed on The Vitality Big Half Facebook page and @OfficialBigHalf on Twitter.