London Marathon 2014: Mo Farah relies on home support to raise game


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The Independent Online

Mo Farah wants to replicate the feeling of London 2012 in today's marathon, and believes the roar of the crowd can once more spur him on to glory.

The 31-year-old is making his eagerly anticipated debut in the London Marathon against the greatest field ever assembled, but believes his rivals could be unhinged by the hundreds of thousands expected to line the streets in support of the Briton.

"I believe it could come down to the crowd," says the Londoner. "They were massive in terms of me winning at the London 2012 Olympics; just to have 75,000 people cheering you on, to carry you, it was just incredible.

"I'm sure people who couldn't get tickets for the Olympics or did get that feeling [in London] want to have that feeling back again. I want to be able to do similar."

Farah, though, faces a monumental task to win his home marathon at his first attempt against a field that includes the world record-holder, Wilson Kipsang, the Olympic and world champion Stephen Kiprotich and the winner last year and in 2010, Tsegaye Kebede.

While the East African contingent have the advantage of experience, Farah argues: "If I'm getting support, mentally for them they're going to think, 'Urgh'. That would give me a lift. That could push me, and [I hope] the crowd can try and help me out the last six or seven miles wherever I am, maybe chuck water over me."

Farah has opted to run in his Great Britain kit in a bid to gain even more support from an expectant public who, he says, he wants to see waving their Union Jacks in support.

Children from Farah's former school in London will also be in the grandstands at the race starts. It remains to be seen if that and people power can inspire him to marathon glory.