Mo Farah wants gold in Cardiff after being selected for the British Athletics team for this month’s IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships.
Double Olympic and World champion Farah has today (Tuesday 8 March) been named as part of a 10-strong British team for WHM Cardiff 2016 on Easter Saturday 26 March.
Carmarthen’s Dewi Griffiths has also been selected and he will become only the third Welsh male athlete to represent GB&NI at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships after Steve Brace (1992) and Steve Jones (1993).
The GB&NI team was announced by British Athletics team manager Spencer Duvall in Cardiff this morning.
Mo Farah said: “I’m really excited about Cardiff 2016, it’s going to be my first IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and what a place to do it.
“I know it’s going to be fast, it’s a World Championships and hopefully I’ll be able to get the home crowd behind me because that will make a big difference.
“It would be great to add another global medal to my collection, I’ve not done this event before but I am looking to do well.
“It’s great that we also have a mass race going alongside the main race, hopefully I’ll get chance to cheer people on and meet everyone because a half marathon is a long way and it’s a big achievement.”
British Athletics team manager Spencer Duvall said: “Mo’s a fantastic athlete and we expect a lot from him every time. We think he’s in with a great chance but this is a World Championships and we are expecting strong competition.
“The British team is looking good, we’ve picked a team hoping to win medals not just to turn up and hopefully they will do well.
“Mo’s a great racer, he’s already run under 60 minutes but I don’t think he’s been properly tested yet at half marathon and it’s probably going to take a world record to beat him and what a great prospect for Cardiff and this event.
“It’s always fantastic to have a local runner such as Dewi in the team, especially for the crowd and I am sure it will make a massive difference and really lift the British team.”
Welsh Half Marathon champion and five-time Welsh Cross Country champion Dewi Griffiths said:
“I’m looking at this as a great opportunity to try and match myself against some of the best distance runners in the world.
“I know the tough parts of the course and the fast parts and hopefully on the day I’ll be able to use that to my advantage.
“Having Mo in the team is going to inspire the rest of us and we are all going to be trying to run faster than we’ve ever done before.
“The atmosphere is always incredible for the Cardiff Half Marathon and I can only imagine what it’s going to be like in a few weeks’ time.”
Entries for the WHM Cardiff 2016 mass participation race, which goes alongside the showpiece IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, have been reopened to mark the announcement of the British team.
Up to 20,000 runners will race the fast, flat and iconic 13.1 mile course around the streets of the Welsh capital, starting in the heart of the city outside Cardiff Castle.
The elite race will be shown live on BBC One and in more than 50 countries around the world.
Run 4 Wales chief executive Matt Newman commented:
“Over the last two and a half years we’ve had some significant milestones with this event, starting with the bid in November 2013 and with just 17 days to go until the event this has to be the most eagerly-awaited announcement.
“We’ve always aimed to put on the greatest IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and we are delighted to say we will have 61 countries competing in the championships on Easter Saturday 26 March.
“With live coverage on BBC One and around the world, the positive impact on the reputation of Cardiff and Wales by hosting this event should not be underestimated.”
British Athletics team for the IAAF / Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships on Saturday 26 March 2016:
Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar), Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans), Callum Hawkins (Robert Hawkins), Matthew Hynes (Stan Markley), Ryan McLeod
Alyson Dixon (Self-coached), Rachel Felton (Christopher Frapwell), Charlotte Purdue (Nic Bideau), Jenny Spink (Bruce Tulloh), Gemma Steel (John Nuttall)
Places to take part in the mass participation race at the IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships are still available. Visit www.cardiff2016.co.uk/register