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Farah for Great North 2011 - Newsroom - 12-08-2011

European 5,000m and 10,000m gold medalist Mo Farah, who is the world's leading runner at the distances this year, has announced he will compete at next month's Bupa Great North Run weekend.

Farah has revealed he is remaining flexible about taking part over two miles in the Bupa Great North CityGames, a street athletics match between Great Britain and the United States on 17 September or the following day's Bupa Great North Run.

The 28-year-old will make his decision following the IAAF World Championships which get underway in Daegu on 27 August and where he will chase the 10,000m gold medal and possibly later in the programme over 5,000m, if sufficiently recovered from the longer race.

"We're delighted that Mo has signed up for the Bupa Great North Run weekend, he has always been a great supporter of all our events." said David Newton, managing director of organisers Nova International.

"It will be his first appearance on British soil after Daegu and whatever event he takes part in, I know he'll get a huge welcome from the fans of which he has plenty of here in the North East."

Farah is no stranger to the innovative Bupa Great North CityGames which are staged on the NewcastleGateshead Quaysides. Indeed he has been a popular winner on three occasions.

Now coached in Portland, USA, by former marathon legend Alberto Salazar, he has won over the one mile distance twice and two years ago finished runner up after a thriller to teammate Andy Baddeley in the England versus Australia international match.

But his biggest achievement came in 2007 when he demolished a world class 3,000 field including former world 5,000m champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, with a UK best performance of seven minutes 56.3 seconds.

Should Farah prefer to compete in the Bupa Great North Run - the world's biggest half marathon race - he will face an elite field including a testing head-to-head clash with reigning Virgin London Marathon champion Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya.

His appearance would also offer the opportunity to become not only the first British champion since Steve Kenyon's win in 1985 but also the chance to attain his own UK fastest time for the distance of 60:23, which he achieved at the New York Half Marathon in March this year.

It also raises the possibility he could be the first ever Briton to clock under 60 minutes for the distance if the weather conditions in the Newcastle to South Shields race are favourable.