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Brilliant Farah surges to golden double

August 12, 2012

LONDON: Britain’s Mo Farah produced a sensational late charge to win the Olympic 5,000 metres title in a pulsating race yesterday and claim his second gold medal of the London Games.

Farah became the seventh man to win both the 5,000m and 10,000m events at the same Olympics with a blistering last lap that took him over the line in 13 minutes 41.66 seconds amid deafening roars from the ecstatic home crowd.

“I wanted a gold medal for each of my two girls on the way. They could come any day now! It has all worked out well. Two gold medals. Who would have thought that?” Farah said as the spectators chanted his name.

Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia, this year’s fastest man, finished in a time of 13:41.98 in silver with Kenya’s Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa in bronze.

Reminiscent of the thunderous roars that filled the Olympic stadium a week ago to pull Farah across the line, the 29-year-old timed his race to perfection once more and delivered a second gold by virtue of another courageous dash to the finish.

Having been pushed about in the qualifying heats Farah had stayed out of trouble at the back of the pack in a slow set of opening laps and resisted the temptation to kick on when the pace picked up at the halfway stage.

With around two laps remaining and showing no signs of the tired legs he had admitted to in qualifying, he made his move to huge roars from the crowd.

Farah picked up the pace and worked hard to see off a number of late challenges before accelerating away from Gebremeskel on the home straight to cross the line.

An elated Farah began his celebrations by doing a few sit-ups before running to greet the crowd and hugging his coach Alberto Salazar, who has helped turn Farah into a world-class athlete since he moved to America in 2011 to work with him.

Farah’s American training partner and friend Galen Rupp, who took 10,000m silver in London, said he was under instructions to protect Farah’s small frame.

“I’m thrilled for him, it really couldn’t have happened to a better guy,” said Rupp who finished the race in seventh.

“He said ‘you’re a bit of a bigger guy so I’ll have you in there to protect me’.”

The world’s three fastest men this year, Ethiopia’s Gebremeskel and Hagos Gebrhiwet, and Kenya’s Isiah Kiplangat Koech, were seen as Farah’s biggest rivals for gold after setting piercing times this season and having fresher legs.

On the night, Gebremeskel looked the most dangerous of the trio.

His very late charge on the home straight forced Farah to stick the burners on once more having already seen off concerted efforts from American Bernard Lagat and Longosiwa.

“He’s a great man. His finishing is really, really good and to be honest mine’s not that bad either. On this special occasion he was just better than me,” said the 22-year-old Gebremeskel.

-Reuters


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