Mo Farah will start his 2018 season by competing in the half marathon event at the Doha Marathon on January 12, organisers have announced.

The 10-time global track gold medallist will line-up in the Qatari capital as he prepares for the Virgin Money London Marathon in April where he faces the Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge.

“I am really looking forward to opening my 2018 season in Doha, said Farah, who will also compete in the Big Half Marathon in London next year. “I am looking forward to the event, as a chance to test myself on the fast and flat run along Doha, and also to hopefully check out the city.”

It will be the world 10,000m champion’s first race since announcing his intention to leave longtime coach Alberto Salazar in Oregon and return to London.

“I also look forward to running alongside my fellow elite athletes and spending time with amateur athletes and spectators at the marathon, Farah added. “Doha is a truly international city, and that makes for a great atmosphere and overall experience.”

The invitational elite half marathon that Farah will compete in is part of the Doha Marathon, which has grown to become Qatar’s largest mass participation event and includes a full marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K events, plus 3K and 1K events for children.

Waleed al-Sayed, CEO of race sponsor Ooredoo, commented: “Having such a world-class and well-respected athlete like Sir Mo Farah enter the Ooredoo Marathon will hopefully encourage more people than ever from across Qatar’s communities to take part.

“This year we are asking everyone to be ‘united’ as we run, whether you’re running for health, for fun, or for a great cause, we hope that together we can make the Marathon a shining example of Qatar’s ability to host international sporting events, and inspire everyone to get active.”