Farah sprints to New York victory

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The Independent Online

Britain's Mo Farah believes he is in the best form of his life after winning the New York City half-marathon yesterday in a brilliant debut over the distance.

Just 15 days after winning the European indoor title over 3,000m, Farah triumphed in a race seven times that distance in a thrilling finish.



Ethiopia's Gebre Gebremariam, who won the full New York marathon last year, looked to have eked out a vital lead in the closing metres, but Farah surged past to win in one hour and 23 seconds, the third fastest time ever on the undulating course.



Gebremariam finished two seconds behind with Farah's training partner Galen Rupp another five seconds adrift in third.



"It was a great race," said Farah, who had to jump over Rupp at halfway when the American and defending champion Peter Kamais collided in Central Park and crashed to the ground.



"Me and Galen worked together but it came down to a sprint finish. The crowd made a big difference and it was really exciting.



"We knew Gebremariam had a big finish so we worked hard but we still could not get rid of him.



"I felt all right with 400m to go and just went for it. I was confident with my track speed and just waited to make the move."



The win continues an amazing string of achievements for the Somalia-born 28-year-old, who won the 5,000 and 10,000m double at last summer's European Championships.



He followed that up by breaking David Moorcroft's 27-year-old British 5,000m record in Zurich, becoming the first Briton to run under 13 minutes, and 2011 has been no different.



In January he won the Edinburgh Cross Country, in February he set a new European indoor record for 5,000m in Birmingham and earlier this month successfully defended his European indoor 3,000m title.



"I'm definitely in the best form of my life," said Farah, who has recently moved with his wife and daughter to Oregon to be coached by Alberto Salazar.



"I don't know what's next but I'm in great shape. I would like to test myself over the marathon after 2012, but I still like the track and feel I have a few years left in me on the track.



"I felt all right today, but running 26.2 miles is a long way and running a half-marathon does not mean you're going to be good in a marathon.



"It's a great feeling when you cross the line and get the British flag around you. Once you get that, you just want it to continue."



In the women's race, Kenya's Caroline Rotich set a new course record with victory in 68:52, eclipsing the previous best of 69:25 set by Britain's Mara Yamauchi last year.



Fellow Kenyan Edna Kiplagat was eight seconds back in second, with American Kara Goucher third.



Britain's Jo Pavey, who was also making her debut over the distance, finished sixth in 69:33 and was pleased with her performance as she builds up to next month's Virgin London Marathon.



"I would have liked a higher position but I'm very, very encouraged by the time as it's my first race in six months," the 37-year-old said.



"Someone told me the 11th and 12th miles were run in 5:03 and 5:04 and that's what did the damage for me. That blew the race apart.



"It was a tough field but time-wise I'm fairly pleased and I think that will stand me in good stead for London."



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