Farah in bid to break one-hour record

Sir Mo Farah (pic London Marathon Events Ltd/The Vitality Big Half)

Sir Mo Farah (pic London Marathon Events Ltd/The Vitality Big Half) - Credit: Archant

Sir Mo Farah will be making an ambitious attempt to smash the men’s world one-hour record in his long-awaited track return at the AG Memorial Van Damme Diamond League event on September 4.

The 37-year-old Newham & Essex Beagles legend moved away from stadium track action to focus on road events after winning the 5000m at Zürich IAAF Diamond League event in Switzerland in August 2017.

But the four-time Olympic champion did a U-turn in November, revealing plans to defend his Olympic 10,000m title and make it five gold medals at next year’s rescheduled Tokyo Games.

And in Belgium’s capital Brussels, Farah and training partner Bashir Abdi will attempt to improve the one-hour mark of 21,285m set by Ethiopian track legend Haile Gebreselassie 13 years ago at the prestigious Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

The 1976 European record of 20,944m set by great Dutch runner Jos Hermens – the now successful promoter of the historic Fanny Blankers-Koen athletics meeting – is also under threat.

Farah said: “Together with my training partner Bashir Abdi, it is my target to attack the one-hour world record at the Memorial Van Damme.

“This is a great challenge for me and I am really looking forward to it. Everything is possible. The track in Brussels is fast, I have good memories of my previous races there.”

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Farah will be one of the first British athletes back in action once the athletics schedule resumes in the most strictist of circumstances, with some events abroad already held behind closed doors operating similar to football.

Organisers of the Memorial Van Damme will allow around 9,000 spectators inside the 50,000 capacity King Baudouin Stadium as Ethiopians Yeshane Ababel and Birhane Dibaba attempt to break the women’s one-hour world record.

Britain’s current world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson goes head-to-head with Belgium’s Olympic defending gold medalist Nafi Thiam in a special triathlon challenge and Sweden’s sensational men’s pole vault world record holder Mondo Duplantis also features.

The coronavirus pandemic has wiped out the majority of the international schedule, including the Müller Anniversary Games Diamond League event at London Stadium which should have taken place this weekend.

The British Championships was due to take place next month in front of spectators in Manchester, but will be behind closed doors in September.

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