Sir Mo Farah has been told by training partner and European record holder Bashir Abdi that he could match the best in the marathon “within the next three to four years”.
The Brit, who was set to run his first marathon since 2019 on Sunday, withdrew from the TCS London Marathon on Wednesday with a right hip injury, although the four-time Olympic champion hopes to return to the traditional slot of the race next April.
And Abdi, who has shared hundreds of miles with Farah in preparation, insists the 39-year-old’s training has been “really incredible” and doesn’t understand why his boyfriend would be thinking about retirement just yet.
“He surprised me in several ways, his training has been really incredible,” said Abdi, who hopes to add a third marathon podium after bronze medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the World Championships in Eugene this summer.
“He made this race [The Big Half] Even at 120 miles this week, he wasn’t fresh or rejuvenating.
“The race was meant to be like a training session, after that he was looking forward to training harder for London. Things were going very well, but unfortunately his hip was starting to bother him.
“He’s been my mentor over the years, because of him I’m starting to believe more, I can achieve more and win medals, run fast. It’s a shame that he won’t be at the starting line with me on Sunday.
“I don’t know why Mo hesitates with his potential in the marathon. He’s been able to train, put in decent miles, track workouts twice a week, go for a long run of 25 miles or more every Sunday, which is definitely good for a marathon.
“I am 100 percent sure that with the right preparation he can run fast and keep up with the fastest guys in the world.
“Now he has time, he takes it very seriously, with eight weeks in the mountains. I don’t know why he hesitated or is thinking about quitting, I think if he gives himself time in the next three to four years and he gets the necessary workouts for the marathon I think he can still run fast.
“Look at Kipchoge, he holds world records, age is just a number.”
Farah had said he was “optimistic” about Sunday’s race but the “pain and tightness” in his right hip over the past 10 days had proved too much.
“It’s really disappointing to have to retire after the good last few months and after winning The Big Half, but also because I love racing in front of my home crowd in London, who are always so incredibly supportive of us athletes,” said Farah .
“I wish everyone who takes part on Sunday a good run and I hope to be on the road with you again in April 2023.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/athletics/mo-farah-london-marathon-bashir-abdi-b2178047.html London marathon: Sir Mo Farah can keep up with the world’s fastest in the “next three to four years” despite an injury setback