World Championships 2013: Feel-good Friday for Mo Farah as British superstar completes incredible 'double double'

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The best efforts of Africa’s finest cannot deny the superstar of distance running his double double glory on the Moscow track

Luzhniki Stadium

It was on Super Saturday that Mo Farah first truly made his name, the first leg of the double double. This time in Moscow it was Feelgood Friday, the quartet of gold medals completed a year after his world dominance had truly begun in London.

Where once he was merely a homegrown hero, he is now a global star, the roars from the crowd at the Luzhniki Stadium not quite in the realm of those accorded to Usain Bolt but still ear shuddering.

Sebastian Coe had claimed the double would make Farah the greatest British athlete of all time. The case for him being the all-time British No 1 is compelling – he now has five global titles, having also won the 5,000m in Daegu in 2009, and he has repeatedly outfoxed Ethiopian and Kenyan contingents awash with immense talent. One of their finest, Kenenisa Bekele, the only man previously to have managed that 5,000m and 10,000m double double, was not even able to make the Ethiopian team this time.

But there will be those who say Farah cannot claim to be the greatest until an Olympic defence is achieved and a world record is broken. One suspects the latter is very much on the agenda for Farah in the near future. In many ways, his status in the pantheon of all-time British greats did not matter, the 30-year-old producing another race of outstanding quality.

“I never thought in my career I would achieve something like this,” he said. “This was very tough – it was all left  to the last two laps. I had a lot of pressure but, at the same time, I enjoy it. This is something I work so hard for. I was thinking about my kids, how long I spend away from them. It’s very difficult because they’re growing so fast and I haven’t been around for the last four or five months. It was hard this year, harder than last year.”

The scene had been nicely set from a British perspective by Adam Gemili dipping under the 20-second barrier in his 200m semi-final and Farah’s sprint to the line in the 5,000m was one the 19-year-old would have been proud of.

There had been nerves beforehand among the British camp, his family and those watching on the BBC. So cool, though, was Farah on the start line that he intimidated his rivals yet more, cementing their doubt as he had with his victories, most recently in Saturday’s 10,000m.

His team had described this as a long shot, likening it to treading into the unknown as he laced up his spikes and took to the track. He made it look anything but. So much, though, had gone into his historic double double. It was a win crafted in Oregon, Font Romeu, St Moritz and Teddington among others – a global jigsaw. The double in Moscow had been made possible by thousands and thousands of miles, ice baths, and Farah sleeping 12 hours in every 24 under an altitude tent in his hotel bedroom. It was no wonder the Rip van Winkle of British athletics looked so fresh.

Farah had expected the pace to be tough but, in truth, there was a lack of the sustained high-tempo running needed to zap him out of that trademark kick. There were those who tried: Isaiah Koech was the first to set the pace, which stretched out the field. If they thought it would worry Farah, it did not. Instead, he dropped to the back and watched it all unfold.

Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris was the next to take it up with Yenew Alamirew, suggesting the two East African nations were in cahoots. This time it was enough to get Farah to the front to slow the pace, as he had done in the 10,000m.

But as Farah himself said, it was all about the last two laps, at which point he was sitting in second but swamped by the full complement of Ethiopian and Kenyan runners. Where he had twice stumbled in the 10k, here there was merely some bustling at 600m, which ended with him nudging ahead. At the bell, the kick for the line began, Koech and fellow Kenyan Thomas Longosiwa both taking the race to Farah.

 

Mo Farah leads the 5,000m at the World Athletics Championships Mo Farah leads the 5,000m at the World Athletics Championships  

His fellow 2012 Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill had claimed it was “never in doubt” but repeatedly it looked as if the Africans might force their way past and cut off Farah’s path; but he tightened his stride and edged ever further ahead to take the gold from the Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet and Koech.

One wonders what next: a world record and a stab at marathon running perhaps? But then there’s Mo time like the present. It is worth dwelling for a little while longer on the double double, his fistful of gold and his place in the athletics annals.

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker