Multi-Olympic gold medallist Sir Mo Farah and his Legends triathlon team, consisting also of Australian open water swimmer Chloe McCardel and British Tour de France veteran Mark Cavendish, finished third in the relay at Ironman 70.3 Bahrain on the weekend. Their combined time was 3:31:49, with a 25:50 in the swim, 1:54:6 in the bike and a surprisingly slow 1:07:06 in the half-marathon by Farah.
The trio was easily beaten by the overall winner (for the third time in a row), Kristian Blummenfelt of Norway, racing as an individual. Blummenfelt’s time was 3:25:21. (His run was six seconds faster than Farah’s.)
Farah has decided to abandon the marathon and head back to the track to defend his 10,000m title for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The runner has been the focus of some negative publicity in the last few weeks following the banning of his former coach, Alberto Salazar, for doping violations and the shutting down of the Nike Oregon Project in October. Farah trained with Salazar from 2011 to 2017, when he returned to the UK. UKAthletics recently announced it would review the decision to allow Farah to continue training with Salazar in 2015, when USADA announced it was investigating Salazar.
Farah won the Chicago Marathon in 2018, setting a British record and European record with his 2:05:11 finish. This year in Chicago he recorded the slowest marathon of his career, finishing in 2:09:58.
Farah is not the only high-level athlete and Olympic gold medallist to announce a return to the track from the marathon. American former triathlete Gwen Jorgensen has similar plans for Tokyo 2020. After a couple of disappointing results in the marathon and heel surgery earlier this year, Jorgensen plans to contest the 10,000m and possibly the 5,000m in Tokyo.