World Championships: Mo Farah cuts apart Africa's finest to top the pantheon

Farah digs deep on final lap to clinch gold and underline his status as Britain's greatest distance runner

Moscow

The double double for Mo Farah remains on. Part one of repeating his feat from London is now complete, the 10,000m world title that had previously eluded him achieved with a compelling victory almost exactly a year to the day after he won the second of his two Olympic golds.

On Friday he will have the chance to repeat that London feat. Only one man has followed an Olympic double in the 5,000m and 10,000m with the same at the subsequent World Championships, Kenenisa Bekele. On last night's evidence, few would bet against Farah matching the Ethiopian.

There were signs in the home straight that the record may remain intact as the Londoner came under threat from the potent finishing of Bekele's countryman Ibrahim Jeilan. It was so nearly the same script as the last World Championships where Farah had been tipped to win gold in the 10,000m only for Jeilan to just edge him out.

Two years on, there was that same wide-eyed panic on Farah's face but it proved short-lived as his improved pace held off a similarly fast-finishing Jeilan with just enough room to breathe in a 54-second last lap. It turned out to be a script with a different kind of ending.

The familiar sights from London – the big outstretched arms and wide smile – were on show again as he crossed the line, the big difference being the lack of numbers in the stands, the stadium barely a third full. But those in attendance were well aware of the stellar athlete on the track.

This victory comfortably cemented him as Britain's greatest-ever distance runner. With two Olympic and now two world titles to his name, unprecedented for a British athlete, he is unquestionably in the pantheon of British athletics greats and you could comfortably argue for his status as No 1. "I remember two years ago almost exactly the same thing happened," said Farah, running the rule over the race. "This time I knew Jeilan and what he was capable of. I thought to myself: 'You've got to make this last lap to tackle but have something left at the end.' At 200m, I could see him clicking through. He was right there. I was thinking 'not again, not again, not again'."

It was the perfect start to the World Championships for the British team. Neil Black, UK Athletics' performance director, had talked about this being a banker. In fact, Farah boasts Britain's two best bets for gold. The requirement was for him to win, and in so doing, it was hoped, to act as a springboard for the rest of the team.

Mo Farah collapses after his winning run Mo Farah collapses after his winning run (AP)  

On a personal level, Farah has made sacrifices by being away from home training but believes it has all been worth it. At last month's Anniversary Games in London, he admitted one of his twin daughters did not even recognise him although there was no danger of that yesterday as all his family cheered from the stands.

Farah is certainly not one of those athletes plagued by an Olympic hangover. This was an evening about revenge and redemption, a quest for the medal that had got away.

It was befitting that an Ethiopian was the one to push Farah so close once more. The most famous of all, Haile Gebrselassie, had inspired Farah to relocate to the United States to work with Alberto Salazar's Project Oregon, Gebrselassie suggesting Farah lacked the wherewithal to beat the Ethiopian or Kenyan contingent.

Ironically, two-and-a-half years after teaming up with Salazar, it was the Ethiopians looking nervously at Farah's every move as he ran his race with aplomb, with a clearly preordained strategy from Salazar.

He barely walked off the line to take his place at the back of the field, a wise choice with 35 runners jostling for position in the early stages. But Farah made his mark on the race for the first time on lap six, going from last to the very front in a clear bid to slow the pace.

It was a yo-yoing tactic he continued to use, almost toying with Africa's finest before slotting back barely a stride or two away from training partner Galen Rupp.

Much like a lion stalking its prey, Farah was inevitably going to pounce on his victims and, with seven laps left, he upped his long, languid stride as Bedan Muchiri of Kenya raised the tempo. With four-and-a-half laps remaining, Farah finally moved in front, taking his second minor stumble of the race in the process — the last wrong foot he laid on the blue track.

Mo Farah in the mix Mo Farah in the mix (Getty)  

By the bell the lead group was down to five and Farah's kick came. That would normally have been sufficient, with a gap emerging and a solo sprint to the line ensuing. Yesterday was different as Jeilan showed his class. But Farah had a little more left in the tank to take the victory with Kenya's Paul Tanui third. Out came the Union flag with the words 'Fly Mo'. It looks likely to be unfurled again on Friday.

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices