Double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah is set to return to Tyneside to defend the men’s crown in the Morrisons Great North Run next month.
It hasn’t been an easy year on the circuit for Farah with coach Alberto Salazar accused of doping by BBC’s investigative TV show Panorama. Farah himself too has faced scrutiny from press, and as recently as last week stated he would be happy to publish the data from his latest set of blood results to publicly prove him innocent.
The Great North Run might be a chance for him to banish those demons and offer some light at the end of what has been dark tunnel.
The home-town hero of London 2012 won the world’s leading half marathon for the first time in a thrilling battle with Kenya’s Mike Kigen last year.
Other elite entries on the men’s field will include several notable international names: 2014 London Marathon runner up Stanley Biwott of Kenya; South African Stephen Mokoka, winner of the 2014 Great Scottish Run; former Pan American Games 5000m champion Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico; and Japan’s Masato Kikuchi, who finished 18th in last year’s World Half Marathon Championship race.
Further British interest will be supplied by Scot Callum Hawkins, who was fifth in the Under 23 race at the European Cross Country Championships in Samakov, Bulgaria, last December.
Farah will first however be attempting to defend his 5,000m and 10,000m titles at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing from 22-30 August.
The Morrisons Great North Run will be broadcast live on BBC One from 9.30am on Sunday 13 September.