RIO DE JANEIRO: Britain’s Mo Farah warned he aims to keep winning after becoming the first man in 40 years to retain the two Olympic distance crowns.
“It never gets old,” beamed the 33-year-old after capturing his second successive 5,000m title on Saturday, winning the Rio final in 13min 3.30sec to emulate Finland’s Lasse Viren, who did the double at the 1972 and 1976 Games.
“Mentally I had to be on the top of my game. The guys were out there to get me. I had to be alert.
“It shows I didn’t just fluke it in London,” added Farah, Britain’s most successful Olympic track and field athlete of all time.
“To do it again is incredible. I can’t believe I did it, it means so much to me.”
Farah’s medal was Britain 27th gold of the Rio Games and their 65th medal, matching their haul in London four years ago.
“We’ve achieved a lot as a nation,” said the Somali-born superstar, whose heroics in 2012 won the hearts of a nation.
“To be able to carry on from 2012 four years later, the legacy has changed since 2012.
“More people are doing sport, we’re winning more. I’m proud to represent my country. We’re going to finish second in the medal table, who would have thought that?”
Farah, who fought back from a stumble to win the 10,000m last week, said his 5,000m victory had been the most satisfying of the four golds.
“I dreamed of becoming Olympic champion once,” said Farah, who has already achieved the world double-double, at the 2013 and 2015 championships in Moscow and Beijing.
Never in doubt
“I was young and I watched Haile (Gebrselassie) and Paul Tergat in Sydney and then I did it in London, that was incredible — to do it again four years later there are no words to describe it.”
Kenyan-born American Paul Chelimo took silver after initially being disqualified, while Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrehiwet claimed bronze in 13:04.35.
But Farah insisted the result was never in doubt.
“I felt a little bit tired at the beginning, so I thought I had to get going again,” he said.
“The Uganda guy (Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei) was giving me a hard time and I thought ‘dude, just relax.’
“But I went to the front, I controlled it and I wasn’t going to let anyone past me, and at the end I used my speed.”
Farah last lost a race at a major competition when he was beaten by Ethiopia’s Ibrahim Jeilan in the 10,000m at the 2011 world championships in Daegu, South Korea.
The Briton is set to compete at next year’s world championships in London, but would not be drawn on his plans beyond that.
“I want to keep running,” said Farah. “London 2017 definitely — I owe it to the people and after that maybe a couple of road races, maybe marathons.
“The Olympics get tougher but all my four kids have one medal each so it’s the best thing ever,” he added, ruling out having any more children.
“I’m done! Oops, hope my wife didn’t hear that!”