World and European 5000m champion Mo Farah will count on the raucous backing of the Glasgow faithful when he launches his 2012 track campaign before a packed crowd at Kelvin Hall next month.
Farah, who alongside 400m Hurdles World Champion Dai Greene is shortlisted for Thursday’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year, will headline the Aviva International Match in its final year at Kelvin Hall on Saturday 28 January, aiming to make it the first step in his 2012 journey towards London Olympic gold.
And in continuing the theme of rousing send-offs, the event will also be the last time the Aviva GB & NI Team competes on home soil ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.
USA-based Farah, who won 5000m gold and 10,000m silver at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu in August, will make his Aviva GB & NI Team debut over the shorter distance of 1500m in Glasgow in his first appearance at the venue since breaking the British 3000m record and setting a new personal best time of 7:40.99 at Kelvin Hall in 2009.
The double World Championships medallist will no doubt send Glasgow fans away from the venue for the final time with stunning memories of the annual global athletics event.
Farah, who lives and trains across the Atlantic in Portland, Oregon, said: “It’s going to be really good to compete at the Aviva International Match again."
“Since I’ve moved out to the USA I really appreciate coming back to the UK to compete and it will be great to get a race so early on in the year. It’s been a while since I’ve kicked off the season so early but this year I’m keen to keep up the competition and just take the momentum from one meet to the next."
“Last time I competed at this event I had a really good run and set a new British record.”
Farah moved to the USA in February this year, shortly after competing at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham.
Under the tutelage of coach Alberto Salazar, Farah has asserted himself as Britain’s best male distance runner and a genuine contender for a gold medal in London next summer.
But Farah has not given up his love of competing on home shores, especially in the red, white and blue of a Great Britain vest.
He said: “My training group in the US is really great, we’re able to turn up to training, get our work done and have a few laughs in between."
“I do really like competing in team events. I like the camaraderie, we’re all usually staying in the same hotel and pushing each other along so it will be great to get involved in that again at the Aviva International Match."
“It’s unreal that it’s almost 2012 but although it really is just around the corner I’m just looking to keep pushing on with what I’ve been doing."
“I’m training hard with my coach, we won’t be changing our routine too much and I’m trying not to keep looking ahead to the summer and to just take it step by step."
“I certainly don’t want to be wishing 2012 away and I’ll be looking to do my absolute best at every meet I compete in, starting at Glasgow in January.”
Farah will be joined at the Aviva International Match by a stellar line-up of domestic and international athletes from teams representing Aviva GB & NI, Russia, USA, Germany and Commonwealth Select.
Organisers for the IAAF