Mo Farah completed a dream double-double last night by winning his second gold medal of the World Championships in Moscow to add to his twin Olympic triumphs.
The 30-year-old claimed the 5,000 metres title at the Luzhniki Stadium, producing another trademark lung-bursting kick down the home straight, just six days after racing to glory in the 10,000m. He won in 13 minutes 26.98 seconds, crossing the line ahead of Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet.
Victory ensured he become only the second man ever after Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele to win both long-distance titles at the Olympics and the World Championships. It took Farah’s tally of global gold medals to five, having also won the 5,000m two years ago in Daegu.
Farah told the BBC: “It’s amazing that Brendan [Foster] and the team are saying great things about me. It’s something I’ve worked so hard for and all I was thinking about was my kids and how much time I have been away from them and all the hard work I’ve put in so I wasn’t going to let that go. It’s very difficult. They (his twin baby daughters) are growing so fast and I haven’t been around for the last four or five months. They don’t really recognise me so I’m looking forward to spending time with them.”
Farah’s rivals once again played into his hands with the slow pace, the Briton unleashing his kick with around 650m to go. It looked at one point as if he might be caught, with several runners still in contention coming into the home straight, but Farah, his face contorted with effort, dug into his deepest reserves of energy to pull away and win by 0.28secs. His last lap was timed at a typically rapid 53.51s. Kenya’s Isaiah Kiplangat Koech took bronze.
Farah dropped to his knees to kiss the blue Mondo track after crossing the line before embracing his coach Alberto Salazar. Farah and his American training partner Galen Rupp were the only two athletes attempting the double, leaving their fresher rivals with a distinct advantage.
UK Athletics head of science Barry Fudge had said victory for the 30-year-old would be a “long shot” because of the toll winning the 10,000m crown would have taken on his body. He managed it in London last summer, but on that occasion he had one extra day to recover. Farah, though, is no ordinary athlete.
Five athletes in the field had faster personal bests than him and seven had gone quicker than him this season. But they simply cannot find a way to beat him on the big stage. Full teams of Ethiopians and Kenyans attempted to do so in the 10,000m only to have no answer to his blistering final lap, and they fared no better last night.
Farah added: “It was a lot more hard work than last year. Alberto has done a great job for me. He made my career, I never thought I’d achieve something like this. I know I work hard for it, but you need the right people and I’m glad I’ve got the right people.
“It was very tough, I thought the guys would have worked more as a team. I’ve had a lot of pressure, but at the same time I enjoy it. I am very proud to represent my country and hold the Union Jack.”
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Usain Bolt still have three gold medals on their mind.
Fraser-Pryce blasted out of the blocks, never saw Olympic champion Allyson Felix fall to the track behind her with a torn right hamstring, and held off Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast and Blessing Okagbare, of Nigeria, to take her second gold by winning the 200 metres.
Now, the 100 and 200 champion has the 4x100 relay to go to get her first triple at a major event. Bolt already has three of those and easily qualified for today’s 200 final.
As Fraser-Pryce celebrated another major win for Jamaica, Felix had her face contorted in pain. Minutes later, when the Jamaican started dancing to Bob Marley’s One Love, Felix was carried off the Luzhniki Stadium track in the arms of her brother Wes.