The four-time Olympic gold medallist hopes to start his 2017 in winning fashion after finishing runner-up at this year’s event in Scotland

Mo Farah, the double-double Olympic champion, has put himself forward for selection to the Great Britain team in the upcoming Great Edinburgh International XCountry on January 7, 2017.

Farah finished second to Garrett Heath in the 2016 event in Holyrood Park in Scotland’s capital, kicking off a year in which he successfully defended his 10,000m and 5000m titles at the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, and won his third Great North Run in a row.

The reigning world champion over 10,000m and 5000m intends to warm up for London 2017 with an appearance in Edinburgh on January 7, with British Athletics finalising their team after the European Cross Country Championships in Chia on December 11.

The 33-year-old said: “Cross country events offer a perfect opportunity for me to measure my fitness and see how my training is going ahead of the 2017 track season.  I have made myself available for selection for the British team for this event.

“I placed second in this race last year and hope to go one better in 2017.”

The Great Edinburgh International XCountry consists of four separate events and pits the best of Team Great Britain & Northern Ireland against Europe and the USA.

Athletes compete across four races; the junior men’s 6km, the junior women’s 4km, senior men’s 8km and senior women’s 6km, with the overall winning team determined by the best aggregate finishing positions of the six best placed athletes in the senior category, as well as the four best placed athletes in the junior races.

The event will also see the return of the innovative International Mixed Relay event which will see national teams of four – two men and two women – compete in a 4x1km challenge for the Stewart Cup.

Councillor Richard Lewis, festivals & events champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “It’s great that Mo Farah has made himself available to run in Edinburgh again at the start of 2017. I’m sure we can expect huge crowds for the Great Edinburgh International XCountry if Britain’s double Olympic Champion is returning to take part. This is a free event for spectators, a great day out in Holyrood Park, and one not to miss.”

The Great Edinburgh International XCountry, televised live on BBC from 1.15pm on BBC One, is part of a New Year festival for runners of all abilities held in Holyrood Park, next to the Scottish Parliament.

The popular Great Winter Run, held on a scenic 5km course that loops around Arthur’s Seat, provides the public with a perfect opportunity to dust off the New Year cobwebs before watching the world’s best test themselves in the international cross country races.

Entry to the Great Winter Run is available online at greatrun.org/winter