Virgin London Marathon 2014: Mo Farah vows to bounce back from disappointing debut and become a true champion

Farah came home in eighth on his London Marathon debut and has promised to push on with his attempts to succeed in the long-distance format

Mo Farah has vowed to bounce back from his disappointing marathon debut like a champion.

The hero of London 2012 trailed home in eighth place at the Virgin London Marathon, almost four minutes behind Kenyan winner Wilson Kipsang, but insisted he would persevere with the event.

The step up to 26.2 miles told as the 31-year-old struggled badly in the final quarter of the race, slipping outside Steve Jones' British record, which had been his target, and coming home in two hours eight minutes and 21 seconds.

Kipsang, the world record holder, won in a course record 2hrs 04mins 29secs, beating compatriot Stanley Biwott into second, with Ethiopian defending champion Tsegaye Kebede third.

Farah, who was not helped by missing a drink stop just after halfway and running on his own, without a pacemaker, at times, admitted he was disappointed with his run, but said he would respond.

"Champions get on with it, leave it behind," Farah said. "I have learned from the Kenyans, they have one bad race and then forget about it."

 

Farah has committed to compete at the Sainsbury's Glasgow Grand Prix at Hampden Park in July, but admitted his plans for the rest of the season, including any possible involvement in the Commonwealth Games or European Championships, remained up in the air.

"I haven't got any plans at all," he said. "I decided to run in Glasgow to test myself, to see if I've lost any track speed.

"Then we'll make a decision in terms of the Europeans or Commonwealths."

But Farah was certain about one thing - that Sunday's race would not be his one and only marathon.

"I will be back and I will definitely do better," said Farah, who was never in contention in the race after going off in the second, rather than the leading, group.

"If I could come back in two weeks' time I would. That's who I am.

"I will do another marathon, but I don't know where, I don't know when. It could be next year, could be six months' time, could be a few years."

But Brendan Foster, the former Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist turned commentator, advised Farah to stick with what he knows for now, with the World Championships coming up in Beijing next summer and the Olympics in Rio to follow the year after.

He said on BBC One: "I hope Mo stays on the track, runs the shorter distances and defends his (Olympic) title in Rio (in 2016). I just think this is too much of an unknown territory for Mo."

There was a Kenyan one-two in the women's race too, as Edna Kiplagat sprinted away from compatriot Florence Kiplagat down the Mall to win in 2:20:21.

Tirunesh Dibaba, the Ethiopian track great also stepping up to the marathon for the first time, took third.

Switzerland's Marcel Hug and American Tatyana McFadden won the men's and women's wheelchair titles.

PA

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