“That was one of the greatest races I’ve ever watched. From that point, I said ‘I want to be Olympic champion,’” Farah said.
Farah is the current Olympic and world champion in the 5,000m and 10,000m, and next season will add the marathon to his repertoire with a debut over the 26.2-miler in next April's London Marathon.
Heading into the marathon, Gebrselassie warned Farah not to rush his move from the track to the road. On Monday, he will run the BUPA Great North Run half-marathon, aiming to become the first British male winner since Steve Kenyon in 1985.
Gebrselassie said, “I asked him recently: ‘Mo, why do you need to move to the marathon? It’s too early for you.
“He’s fantastic over 5,000m, 10,000m and even 1500m. He’s done amazing.
“And if he continues in the 5,000m and 10,000m, maybe there’s the chance for him to break the world record -- because, when it comes to the marathon, he has a long career ahead. I ran my first marathon in 2002 in London and then I did another three years on the track -- my speed was still there. Then, I went completely on the marathon.
“Age-wise, he is perfect for the marathon. But the speed work he has still is amazing. He must decide which event is more comfortable for him. Next year is the perfect year to test the marathon. Next year he can play with any distance -- 10,000m, 5,000m, half-marathon or marathon.”
Farah said that running a marathon does not signify a departure from the track.
“Having watched the London Marathon and seen Haile break world records, I want to try that. After the Olympics, the home crowd made such a big difference. I want to enjoy that again and do so before it’s too late. It doesn’t mean I’ll stick at the marathon. I want to test it out and then come back to the track.”
The half-marathon will put him up against Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele, an Ethiopian that has recorded 26 world records and is a 7-time world champion, in a representation of the three eras of running.
“It will be nice to have three of us: Haile dominating since Sydney and Kenenisa in Beijing and me in London, so it’s nice to have that era,” he said. “It’s an honor to line up against such great guys in terms of what Kenenisa has achieved in athletics, same with Haile. For us, you can’t get any better than this,” Farah said.
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