This time it was not so much Fly Mo as Slow Mo. Two days on from the devastating burst that took him to gold in the 10,000 metres, Mo Farah was back in action at the European Championships last night, setting out on the second half of his double mission. He never needed to shift into top gear, cruising through his first round 5,000m heat with the minimum of effort.
As the lead pack rounded into the home straight on the final lap, Farah eased in front and crossed the line a comfortable winner. His time, a leisurely 13min 38.26sec, gave him victory by 0.21sec – ahead of Jesus Espana, who beat him to the title by a tantalising 0.09sec in Gothenburg four years ago. Not that the Spaniard was anywhere close to flat out. The final promises to be another cracking affair.
Chris Thompson, who took the 10,000m silver behind Farah on Tuesday, earned himself another shot at a medal, finishing fourth in the opening heat in 13:35.58. "I'm very pleased with that," he said. "I was hoping I had the reserves after the 10,000m and I felt alright."
Dai Greene and Rhys Williams looked more than all right in the semi-finals of the 400m hurdles. Greene won the first in 49.48sec and Williams the second in 49.61sec. The two training partners and Welsh compatriots clocked the two fastest times and look capable of producing the kind of British one-two in tomorrow's final that Farah and Thompson delivered in the opening track final of the championships on Tuesday. Greene starts the clear favourite.
In the morning session in the Montjuic Olympic Stadium Andy Turner survived the threat of disqualification in the opening round of the 110m hurdles. Winner of the bronze in Gothenburg four years ago, Turner feared his Barcelona medal challenge might be over when the reigning champion, Stanislav Olijars, false-started in the lane next to him. The Latvian was given a red card and the Briton feared he might get one too.
"I was a little fearful when I saw that little red thing next to my lane," Turner said. "I'd reacted off Olijar. He false-started and then I went. It's been known to disqualify two people but, luckily, I maintained my composure and just did what I had to do."
He did just that. The one-time Notts County youth team footballer was an impressive winner, clocking 13.48sec. William Sharman also progressed, finishing third in his heat in 13.60sec.