4-Time Olympic Winner in Long-Distance Running Mo Farah Announces His Retirement Plans Following London Marathon

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The four-time Olympic champion, the British Mohamed “Mo” Farah, will end his athletic career in September by participating in the largest half-marathon in the world – the Great North Run.

The Somalia-born long-distance running legend claimed that the London Marathon last Sunday served as confirmation that his decision to retire was the right one. The 40-year-old Farah struggled in the closing stages of the race and eventually placed ninth, becoming just the third finisher from the United Kingdom. The Londoner said he was confident and felt he could finish between 2:05 and 2:07, but the body didn’t respond and it was a little frustrating. His timing of 2hr 10min 28sec, a Masters record, was a little slower than he had planned. “That’s when you know it’s time to call it a day,” he stated.

It was Farah’s final marathon, though he’ll compete in two more races in 2023 before putting his running shoes away. He’ll compete in the Great Manchester 10k next month, followed by the final race of his career at the Great North Run in September: “London has been so great to me over the years and I wanted to be here to say thank you to the crowd. But the Great North Run is going to be my last-ever run, and that will be my goodbye.”

Farah, who has only ever won one marathon (in Chicago in 2018), was never anticipated to contend for the title, which was won by Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum in a record-breaking pace of 2:01.25, by which he justified the role of the No.1 favorite awarded to him by the best mobile bookmakers. Instead, Emile Cairess and Phil Sesemann defeated Farah to claim the title of top Brit, and given how difficult it was for him, he considered giving up during the final 26.2 miles of the race.

From Being Illegally Taken from His Native Somalia to Two Double Olympic Golds

Farah won Olympic titles in London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016), in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. The same double won gold at the World Championships in 2013 and 2015. In total, he won six gold medals at the World Championships and five gold medals at the European Championships.

Farah was born in Somalia as Hussein Abdi Kahinand was brought illegally to the UK at the age of nine under the name of another child, Mohamed Farah. He was brought out of the country by a woman he had never met and forced to babysit another family’s children. He was granted British citizenship in July 2000 under the name Mohamed Farah.

In his first years in Britain, he wasn’t allowed to go to school, and when he started at the age of 11, it was said that he was a refugee from Somalia. His athletic talent was first recognized by his physical education teacher. These aspects of his past were not known until 2022 when he published his story. At the time, Farah said that his children inspired him to publicly reveal numerous details from his life.