Farah makes history, but is disappointed to only win silver medal
Farah came into the event ranked No 1 in the world over 10,000 and 5,000m and on the back of a ten-race unbeaten run this year over distances ranging from 3,000m to his debut over the half-marathon.
The 28-year-old had glory in his sights when he hit the front with 650m to go in Daegu and kicked for home at the bell, opening up a healthy gap over Ethiopia’s Ibrahim Jeilan.
However, Jeilan refused to throw in the towel and gradually reduced his deficit, eventually overhauling Farah around 35m from the line to win in 27 minutes 13.81 seconds.
Farah was just 0.26secs behind, with Ethiopia’s Imane Merga claiming bronze. No male British athlete had previously won a medal over 10,000m in the championships, while the only medal won over 5,000m was a bronze by Jack Buckner in 1987.
Kenenisa Bekele had won the last four 10,000m titles, but had been sidelined since January 2010 through injury and dropped out with ten laps remaining.
Farah said: “I saw at 100m to go that he [Jeilan] was there. Unfortunately my legs just couldn’t give me any more. I am disappointed to finish second. It would have been nice to win the World Championship, but all along I said I can run a fast time, but championships are completely different. And it was completely different.
“It’s not always the guys who have run the fast times. The championships are always very tactical. It means a lot winning a major medal. It would have been nicer with a gold, but the better man won on the day and fair credit to him. I’ll see how I go from here, hopefully see what I can do in the 5k.”
The heats of the 5,000m are on Thursday, with the final next Sunday. Farah, who has made massive improvements since moving with his family to Oregon at the start of the year to be coached by Alberto Salazar, denied that he had perhaps kicked too early, adding: “I always wanted to go at 400, 500m. That’s my best tactics. I thought I had that speed at the end, but he was finishing quicker.
“I gave it 110 per cent. I thought to myself if I could run 52 or 53 seconds [for the last lap] that would be enough. But it wasn’t enough.”
Earlier in the evening, Andrew Osagie had failed to make the final of the 800m after finishing fourth in his semi-final in 1:46.12.
“It would have been awesome to tick the box of world finalist and in that sense it’s an opportunity missed,” Osagie said.
In the women’s 400m, Nicola Sanders and Lee McConnell also failed to reach the final after finishing sixth and seventh in their races respectively.
There was also disappointment in the morning session as Holly Bleasdale and Lisa Dobriskey were among six athletes to go out of the competition.
Bleasdale, the national record holder in the pole vault, failed to record a height on her major championship debut, while Dobriskey, a silver medallist in the 1,500m two years ago, finished second last in her heat.
Team-mate Hannah England did progress after winning her heat.