Mo Farah ‘more relaxed’ for switch to road

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I want to forget about Mo – Farah on his future
Birmingham Diamond League
Date: 20 August Venue: Alexander Stadium, Birmingham
Coverage: Live coverage on BBC Two (13:30-14:50 BST) and BBC One (14:50-17:10), plus text commentary and online clips

Mo Farah says he is relishing escaping the pressure of the track as he prepares for his final UK track race before switching to the road.

“I’m definitely more relaxed, more chilled,” said Farah before Sunday’s Diamond League meeting in Birmingham. “I don’t have a target on my back.”

“I will have more than fun. It’s going to be different but I’m excited.”

The 34-year-old has won four Olympic titles and collected his sixth world gold in London earlier this month.

Farah finished eighth in a time of two hours, eight minutes and 21 seconds at the 2014 London Marathon, his only attempt at the distance.

Dennis Kimetto’s world record – set the same year in Berlin – is almost five and a half minutes quicker.

Farah finishes eighth in marathon

Farah admits it will be a steep learning curve to close the gap on the world’s best over 26.2 miles.

“People expect me to do certain things in the marathon because I have won so much stuff on the track, but it is a completely different event,” he added.

“I want to go in with a new mind and vision, forget about what I have achieved as Mo and learn and understand the event and see what I can do on the road.

“It will take me a couple of times at least to get it right.”

Farah name-checked New York, Boston, Berlin and London as prestige races that he was considering.

The Daily Mail reported earlier this month that London Marathon officials were preparing a six-figure offer to tempt Farah to run the 2018 and 2019 races in his hometown.

The Zurich Diamond League and Great North Run will conclude Farah’s 2017 season, but he says that a return to Birmingham will be a chance to relish what he has achieved with British fans.

“This weekend is about enjoying. I’ll go out there and give 110%, but it is not as demanding or nerve-racking as London,” he said.

“I want to take care of the race, get a good result and say goodbye.

Birmingham has been good to me and the crowd especially have been amazing. It is definitely one of my favourites.”

Farah has accused sections of the media of trying to tarnish his legacy by questioning his association with American coach Alberto Salazar, who is under investigation by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

Both he and Farah deny they have ever broken anti-doping rules.

Farah is one of 59 medallists from the recent World Championships who will be in action at Alexander Stadium.

Dafne Schippers, world 200m champion, will renew her rivalry with silver medallist Marie Josee Ta Lou in a 100m race that also includes London’s 110m hurdles champion Sally Pearson and British-record holder Dina Asher-Smith.

Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (far right) won the British 200m title on his last visit to the Alexander Stadium

All four of Great Britain’s gold-winning 4x100m relay team are in action with CJ Ujah and Adam Gemili competing in the 100m, while Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and Danny Talbot take on surprise world champion Ramil Guliyev – who beat Wayde van Niekerk to gold in London – and Botswana’s Isaac Makwala in the 200m.

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