LONDON (Reuters) - London marathon organizers would be happy to have Britain’s double Olympic champion Mo Farah in their race and believe he will make his debut over the distance in the city.
Farah, who won the 10,000 and 5,000 meters golds at the London Games, has said he eventually plans to move up to the marathon.
“Mo Farah is welcome to run the London marathon any time he likes,” David Bedford, the event’s international race director, told Reuters on Sunday.
“Mo has to take some time out and decide his next step. I’m sure that his next move will be to the marathon.
“I will be amazed if his debut is not in London,” said former 10,000 meters world record holder Bedford after the Olympic men’s marathon, of which he was the course director.
Farah is the first Briton to win Olympic gold at either 5,000 or 10,000m and has already announced he will run the Great North Run, a half-marathon, in Newcastle next month.
Farah’s American coach, Alberto Salazar, set a marathon world best in New York in 1981.
When Paula Radcliffe moved up to the marathon, she reportedly benefited from a 1 million dollar, four-race deal with London, where she set her world record in 2003.
According to senior international athletics sources who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, with his two Olympic golds and massive popular appeal, Farah could expect to be paid four times as much by the London organizers.
“That’s a lot of money,” Bedford said, but refused to deny a one million dollar race fee could be a possibility.
Farah, however, seems in no rush to move off the track so soon after mastering it.
“I still want to keep taking part in the 5,000 and 10,000 so there’s still a lot of stuff to be achieved,” the 29-year-old said.
“In my career I’d like to step up to the marathon but not yet - keep doing what I’m doing because it’s working and see if I can get more medals. In your career you want to be able to collect as many medals as you can.”
Editing by Alison Wildey