Sir Mo Farah is willing to risk his legacy in a bid to create Olympic history in Tokyo.
Britain’s long-distance icon, 36, had been targeting marathon glory in Japan after ditching the track for the road two years ago.
But after finishing eighth in Chicago last year and then seeing rival Eliud Kipchoge achieve an historic sub two-hour marathon, Farah has given up on that dream for now.
Instead, he will defend his 10,000 metres title for the second time as he targets a third gold medal – and an 11th global title – to add to his London and Rio triumphs.
And Britain’s most successful ever athlete, speaking at the launch of ‘Mo’s Million Mile Challenge’, is relishing the chance to emulate a certain Usain Bolt.
He said: “It would be history. It would be incredible and something that no one has ever done in terms of a distance runner and someone my age.
“For me, yes, it’s great to have the history. But what really drives me are the moments when you close your eyes and think ‘what is it you really want? What is it you’re searching for?’
“It’s the moments where you celebrate, cross the line, hear the national anthem, get on the podium. You know, they are the things you think about when you’re struggling.”
Farah has four Olympic gold medals to his name having completed the 5,000m and 10,000m double in London and Rio.
It was at his home Olympics eight years ago where he rewrote the record books alongside Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford on Super Saturday.
But Farah is not concerned that failure to make more history this summer will tarnish his legacy.
“Not at all,” he added. “What I have achieved and what I gave back to sports, no one has done that in terms of British history and global world medals.
“Greg and Jess have now retired so I’m going beyond them. No British athlete has ever gone into that area.
“But at the same time, it’s not because I’m searching for history or to get three gold medals at three different Olympics.
“It’s because you believe in that and you feel you can still do it. That is what drives me.
“I will give it 110 per cent and that’s all I can do. Sometimes other athletes win on the day. Nothing is guaranteed. But if you don’t do it, how are you ever going to know?”
Farah is refusing to give up on his marathon dream just yet but admits he’d rather put the last 12 months behind him – and quickly.
“2018 was great, I broke the British record, ran 2.05 – it was great. But 2019 – that’s the only bit that is missing in my house,” he said.
“I’ve got all my pictures and everything framed around my house, and 2019 is the one that was okay but wasn’t great. I ran 2.05 but I would have loved to have ran faster.
“Just before Chicago I did get injured and I was carrying an injury. At the same time you have just go to respect that and move on.
“That’s why I’m even more excited about 2020.”
And it’s not just the action on the track that is exciting Farah.
The Olympic icon wants to inspire the next generation and this week launched ‘Mo’s Million Mile Challenge, calling on local communities to ditch the excuses and take a ‘mo’ to complete a mile for charity across the 12-day challenge.
He added: “I’m very lucky to have got into sport. It was through my PE teacher who supported me and if it wasn’t for him then I wouldn’t have been in sport and I wouldn’t know what I’d be doing.
“So it’s really important – as an athlete myself who has achieved a lot, won gold medals in front of his home crowd in 2012 and in Rio – to show people what is possible and how we can start.
“We need to reconnect to the younger kids and the community. It’s always been my goal to give back to the community and the kids to show them the way. It’s nice to be part of it.”
Sir Mo Farah is teaming up with Village Hotel Club and Youth Sport Trust to launch ‘Mo’s Million Mile Challenge’, calling on the nation to join him and complete a MILLION MILES to raise vital funds for local school children across the country