MO FARAH will attempt to improve on last year’s debut performance when he returns to the North-East to compete in next month’s Bupa Great North Run.

Farah finished second in last year’s race, narrowly failing to overhaul Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele in a thrilling sprint finish that saw the two distance greats pull clear of Haile Gebreselassie.

The contest was hailed as one of the greatest road races in history, and Great North Run organisers will be delighted at Farah’s decision to return to Tyneside to try again on September 7.

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The double world and Olympic champion was forced to pull out of the Commonwealth Games after failing to complete his recovery from an illness in time.

However, he is expected to contest both the 5,000m and 10,000m at next week’s European Athletics Championships in Zurich, and should be in peak condition by the time he travels to the North-East at the start of next month.

“I’m looking forward to returning to the North-East to run my second Bupa Great North Run,” said Farah. “I have been part of the weekend several times in the past, taking part in the mile and two-mile races at the Great North CityGames on the Quayside.

“Last year was a great race with Kenenisa and Haile over the half marathon. I would like to come back and win this year.”

This year’s Bupa Great North Run will become the first event in the world to celebrate its millionth finisher, and Brendan Foster, chairman of event organisers Nova, expressed his delight that Farah will be returning to try to win the coveted title.

“I’m thrilled that on such a momentous milestone for the Bupa Great North Run, Britain’s greatest ever male distance runner will be joining us,” he said. “One thing’s for sure - Mo will be desperate to be first over the finish line in South Shields.”

Stephen Kiprotich, the reigning world and Olympic marathon champion, will also be part of a record field of 57,000 runners, with further participants due to be confirmed in the next few weeks.