Double gold delight for Farah
August 12, 2012 06:15 am
Britain's Mo Farah has won his second gold medal of London 2012 with a thrilling victory in the 5,000 metres on the final night of athletics action.
Seven days after claiming Britain's third gold in the space of 45 minutes on 'Super Saturday' in the 10,000m, Farah produced another brilliant performance to complete the long-distance double.
Roared on by a capacity 80,000-strong crowd, Farah hit the front with 700m remaining and was never headed, covering the last lap in under 53 seconds to hold off Ethiopia's Dejen Gebremeskel to win in 13 minutes and 41.66 seconds. Thomas Longosiwa of Kenya claimed bronze.
Just six men in Olympic history had previously taken the 5,000m and 10,000m titles at the same Games - Hannes Kolehmainen of Finland in 1912, Emil Zatopek of Czechoslovakia in 1952, Vladimir Kuts of the USSR in 1956, Finland's Lasse Viren in 1972 and 1976, Miruts Yifter of Ethiopia in 1980 and countryman Kenenisa Bekele at Beijing four years ago.
Farah had looked understandably tired in the heats on Wednesday, after which Gebremeskel acknowledged that running a fast race might be the only way to deny Farah victory.
However, if that was the plan it was curiously ignored as the 15-strong field set out at an incredibly slow pace - with more than one lap taking 73 seconds - 20 more than Farah's closing lap to win the 10,000m.
It took until the midway point of the race for the pace to be wound up and Farah moved up to second behind Gebremeskel with three laps to go. With 700m remaining the 29-year-old hit the front and still led at the bell, at which point he crucially refused to give up his prime position on the inside and accelerated again to stay ahead of the pack.
Gebremeskel, the fastest man in the world this year, briefly closed on Farah down the home straight, but the home favourite was not to be denied a fabulous triumph - and even had the energy to celebrate with a few sit-ups on the track.
Farah said on BBC1: "It's just unbelievable. The American guy (Galen Rupp) tried to come past me, but I knew I just had to hold on to it.
"I had great support from the crowd. It means a lot to me."
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