Farah Becomes Double World Champion in Moscow
Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) clinched a dramatic gold medal in the 5,000m at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, his second gold medal of the championship and Great Britain & Northern Ireland’s third.
The double Olympic champion, who won 10,000m gold last Saturday, became a double world champion as he retained the 5,000m title he won in Daegu two years ago in a time of 13:26.98. Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele is the only other man to have ever held both the Olympic and world 5,000m and 10,000m titles.
The 30 year old went to the front of the field with three laps remaining and as his rivals queued up behind him he was able to hold them off with a 53.51 second last lap for a thrilling victory. Now with five global titles to his name, the most of any British athlete ever, Farah has cemented his place in the history books and was overjoyed with his achievement.
He said: “The race went well, I was really happy. It suited me so it was a great race. I had a stitch from about eight laps to go and I was kind of pushing my stomach in, but then the pace slowed down and I tried to forget about it and come through.
“It’s amazing (to have done the ‘double double’), there are not many athletes who have done that, only the great Kenenisa Bekele who has achieved so many things and to be able to achieve what he has achieved is just an honour.
“I enjoyed tonight and now I’m looking forward to a bit of time off and spending it with the family. I never thought in my career that I’d be able to achieve something like this, anything is possible I guess.”
GB & NI narrowly missed out on a second medal of the night in the men’s 4x400m relay. After being in a medal position for much of the race, the quartet of Conrad Williams (Linford Christie), Martyn Rooney (Rana Reider), Michael Bingham (George Williams), Nigel Levine (Christie) eventually finished in fourth place with a time of 3:00.88, less than a second behind Russia who took the bronze.
First leg runner Williams, who ran a split of 45.3, was disappointed to have missed out on a medal: “We had a nice strong team out there to go get that medal. Firstly I have to say sorry to everyone though because we are much better than that, we just didn’t deliver today.”
Bingham, who kept the team in contention on with a 45.7 split on leg three, said: “I think the guys ran well, obviously not well enough but we’ve shown we can perform in years past and we just have to replicate those performances in the future. I’m really proud of the guys tonight, we’re a success together and we fail together, that’s the thing about relays and 4x400m guys we’re a team.”
Rooney, who ran the second leg in 44.5 for GB & NI, said: “To try and medal we need to be in the mix at the start and I bet myself to be able to beat anyone else on a relay leg, something I pride myself on. I think on a season where I had a couple more races in my legs I’d have been on the USA’s heels, but they got away from me early on and I had to try to chase them.”
Levine, who ran a closing split of 45.3, said: “That was a great race but unfortunately we didn’t finish top three like we aimed to do. I left it all on the track. It was a very tough one and I hope we can come back stronger next time.”
After running a personal best of 20.17 in the heats of the 200m this morning, Adam Gemili (Michael Afilaka) produced another spectacular run in the semi-finals as he became only the second British man ever to run under 20 seconds. His time of 19.98 gave him a narrow victory and will ensure that he receives a good lane draw for tomorrow’s final.
The 19 year old, who became the first ever European teenager to break the 20 second barrier, said: “I was in shock going over the line and seeing the time, I was looking around and I didn’t quite realise it was me that had won it until I looked up on the big screen.
“Training has been going well. I’ve missed quite a lot of the season through injury in the winter so to come out here and run a time like that and put myself in the final amongst the quickest men in the world – I’m over the moon.”
James Ellington (Rana Reider) finished fourth in the second heat with a time 20.44, just two hundredths outside of his personal best and not quite enough to secure one of the two fastest loser places. However, Ellington was optimistic that he can take the positives and learn from his experience.
He said: “I think I had the capability of running 20.2 or faster which would have made the final. I had a good year, I’ve been consistent and I can build on it for the future. I was saying to the other guys that having Usain Bolt coming up on the inside was a bit off-putting but there’s nothing I can do about that, so you panic about it but with experience I’ll learn not to do that in future races.”
In the first semi-final, 19 year old Delano Williams (Neil Harrison) ran a time of 20.61 for seventh place and missed out on a place in tomorrow’s final. The world junior champion said: “It wasn’t the best but I did my best and that’s all I can ask for. Right now I need to relax myself, watch the rest of the champs and see where best I can learn from them.”
Chris O’Hare (Steve Gulley) produced a phenomenal run in the semi-finals of the men’s 1500m to become the first British man to reach a World Championships 1500m final for six years. The 22 year old positioned himself well on the inside of lane one and exploited a gap to come home in fourth, an automatic qualification position, with a time of 3:43.58.
Afterwards, O’Hare said: “I had to put myself in a better position, not out there for everybody to shoot at. It’s fantastic, it’s great to be here. I’ve got to go back and get my recovery and then I’ll think about what I can realistically do and then I’ll shoot for a bit higher than that.”
In the first semi-final of the women’s 800m, Laura Muir (Andy Young) finished seventh in a time of 2:00.83, just three hundredths of a second slower than the personal best she set in yesterday’s heat. Although it wasn’t enough to qualify for Sunday’s final, the 20 year old was pleased with how she performed at the championships overall.
She said: “I was hoping I’d get a chance to run sub two today but that first lap was just so quick. I’m really happy with my performance and I got a personal best – I didn’t expect to get through the first round yesterday so I’m pleased with that. I never dreamed of coming to Moscow this year, so this was a huge bonus and to get through the first round, I’m really pleased.”
Marilyn Okoro (Johnny Gray) also missed out on a place in the final as she finished seventh in the second semi-final, running a time of 2:02.26. Okoro was disappointed not to qualify for the final and believes injury problems earlier in the year may have hampered her chances.
She said: “Maybe the lack of winter base is really catching up with me – that’s where you really need it in a championship. I’m so disappointed in the race but I can’t complain; I am very thankful to be here and I didn’t think I was going to have a season at all, but now I am and about to start the second half.”