Athletics: Double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah ready for London Marathon test
Mo Farah believes he will face one of the toughest tests of his career when he competes in this year's London Marathon.
Last Updated: 14/01/14 12:01pm
The double Olympic gold medallist from the 2012 London Games will race over the full marathon distance for the first time, where he will go up against a tough field.
This year's race sees world-record holder Wilson Kipsang, Olympic and world champion Stephen Kiprotich, defending London Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede and course record holder Emmanuel Mutai all involved on 13 April.
Kenenisa Bekele, who defeated Farah in an exciting half-marathon race at the Great North Run in September, is the only main absentee, with the Ethiopian due to make his marathon debut in Paris on 6 April.
Farah feels he learnt a lot from running the first half of last year's marathon in the capital and is looking forward to proving himself over the full 26.2 miles.
"I gained a lot of valuable experience running part of the course alongside the top guys last year and can't wait to race over the full distance this April," he said.
"The London Marathon always attracts the world's best runners to its elite fields and this year will be no different. I am expecting it to be one of my toughest races and a real learning experience.
"I had another great year on the track in 2013, but the marathon is my main focus for this year.
"As a young boy growing up in London it has always been my ambition to run the London Marathon and to be able to make my marathon debut in my home town is very special."
Farah will be targeting Steve Jones' 29-year-old British record of two hours, seven minutes and 23 seconds and will also be aiming to become the first British man to win the London Marathon since Eamonn Martin's triumph 21 years ago.
"We are delighted to announce another superb elite men's field for the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon, a line-up containing the usual array of record breakers, global champions and worldwide marathon winners," said London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher.
"Much attention in Britain will focus on the performance of Mo Farah and we are very pleased that he has chosen London to make his marathon debut.
"But it will be an extremely tough challenge for Mo with the quality of the elite field as high as ever."
Farah will be joined in the field by fellow Britons Scott Overall and Chris Thompson, another making his debut over the distance.