LONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 5 – British distance-running great Mo Farah has withdrawn from next month’s Big Half race in London with an achilles injury, organisers announced on Wednesday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.