MO FARAH has performed a u-turn on his decision to retire from the track, announcing that he will defend his 10,000m title at the Tokyo Olympics.

Two years ago, having won four Olympic gold medals and six World Championship gold medals at 5000m and 10,000m, the Englishman announced he was retiring from the track to focus on the marathon.

But having hinted earlier in the year that he could make the switch back to the track because he missed the frequency that track racing provided, he has now made it official.

“Next year, I’m going to be back on the track and I’m going to give it a go in the 10,000m,” he said on social media.

“Hopefully I haven’t lost my speed but I will train hard for it and see what I can do. I’m really excited.”

Farah’s decision is excellent news for Kilbarchan’s Callum Hawkins, who is now, fitness permitting, certain to be in Tokyo for Team GB.

Hawkins has dipped under the qualifying standard twice this year, at the London Marathon in and again at the World Championships in Doha last month, where he finished in fourth place.

Meanwhile, Hawkins has spoken of his excitement about Scottish Athletics’ Marathon Project, which aims increase the standard of marathon running in this country, with the specific aim of qualifying athletes, ideally three men and three women, for the marathon at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022.

Hawkins himself famously was leading the marathon at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast before collapsing due to the heat less than two miles from the finish line. His compatriot, Robbie Simpson, went on to take bronze.

Marathon running in Scotland is in a healthy state, with Hawkins setting a new Scottish record at this year’s London Marathon, while Steph Twell set a new women’s Scottish record in Frankfurt last month.

Speaking about the Marathon Project, which will be led by Hawkins father and coach, Hawkins was hugely positive

“I think we can raise standards in Scottish marathon running,’ said the 27-year-old.

“If you see people who you have grown up with or seen at local cross country events and road races performing well then you start to think ‘I can do a bit of that’.

“Hopefully, the times run by those at the top help push others towards PBs themselves.

“In 2016, myself, Derek and Tsegai Tewelde all ran really well in London to make the Olympic team for Rio – and I think men’s marathon running in Britain has come on since then.

“In terms of Team Scotland and Birmingham, I think we’re already looking pretty strong on the men’s side and hopefully the picture will continue to improve on the women’s side. To get two full teams of three strong athletes would definitely be the goal.”