Mo Farah wins gold at World Championships
Sunday 04 September 2011
Mo Farah today struck gold in the 5,000 metres at the World Championships in Daegu, seven days after being pipped to victory in the 10,000m.
As a slow race turned into a last-lap sprint, Farah held off American Bernard Lagat and Ethiopia's Imane Merga to claim victory in 13 minutes 23.36 seconds.
The 28-year-old, who claimed double gold at the European Championships last year, came into the race as the favourite after leading the world rankings in 2011.
But it took all his new-found finishing speed to hold off almost the entire field, with only two of the 16 runners out of contention by the bell.
Farah had been happy to stay at the back of the pack in the early stages, even grabbing some water from a drinks station down the back straight on the third lap.
The race even slowed to almost walking pace at one stage, but Saudi Arabia's Hussain Alhamdah eventually injected some pace with six laps to go to stretch out the field.
Farah began paying closer order and was contesting the lead by the bell, crucially maintaining the inside line as Ethiopia's Dejen Gebremeskel tried to go around the outside.
With 100m to go, Gebremeskel began to fade and it was Lagat - world champion over 1,500 and 5,000m in 2007 - who began to threaten, but Farah bravely held on to become the first British man to win a world title over 5,000m.
Farah told Channel Four: "I'm very proud, I just can't believe it.
"I just had to go out there and do what I did in the 10k but just get it right this time."
The 28-year-old's move to Oregon in the United States to train appears to have paid significant dividends.
"I've made a lot of sacrifices but I'm glad I've made that choice," he added.
His wife, Tania Nell, added: "I'm just speechless. I'm just very proud and very happy."
Asked what she thought of her dad, Farah's daughter Rihanna said: "Cool!"
It looked like Britain would claim another gold when, just seconds after Farah's victory, Idowu jumped a season's best 17.70m in the triple jump to restore a healthy lead.
However, American Christian Taylor then produced a stunning leap of 17.96m to take the lead and relegate Idowu to the silver medal position.
Idowu responded with an improvement to 17.77m, but now only had two rounds remaining to smash his personal best by more than 15cm to retain his title.
Elsewhere on the track, South Africa's Caster Semenya was unable to retain her title in the 800m, the 20-year-old being overhauled 10m from the line by Russia's Mariya Savinova.
Semenya had moved smoothly through the field to lead around the final bend, but Savinova produced a flying finish to win in 1:55.87 - the fastest in the world this year and just 0.42s slower than Semenya ran to win in Berlin two years ago.
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