International Athletics

Farah defends world double

2015-08-29 14:17
Mo Farah (AFP)

Beijing - Mo Farah retained his world distance double on Saturday when he stormed to victory in the 5000 metres in Beijing.

The Briton, who won 10 000m gold on the opening weekend of action, was in control of the race throughout, producing a devastating final 80 metres to romp home in 13min 50.38sec.

Kenyan Caleb Ndiku, in 13: 51.75, held on for silver after making a valiant break with 800m to run. Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet took bronze.

Farah's victory was an unprecedented seventh successive win in the 5,000 or 10,000m at a world championships or Olympics for the Somali-born 32-year-old, stretching back to 2011.

His double matched that of Usain Bolt, with whom Farah came through youth and junior ranks, the Jamaican having successfully defended the sprint double in an equally astonishing display of track dominance.

And for Farah, his victory was also the perfect riposte following doping allegations surrounding coach Alberto Salazar that had mired the build-up to the world championships.

Farah's British teammate Tom Farrell led the slow opening pace for the 15-man field of the 12-and-a-half laps of the Bird's Nest in warm, windless conditions.

Farah parked himself at the back of the pack as American pair Ben True and Galen Rupp, Farah's training partner under coach Salazar in Oregon, followed Farrell.

With seven laps to run, Farah started moving up the field, having to push veteran Imane Merga in the back and onwards as the Ethiopian also harried his way past and into the lead.

Farah settled back into stride as the peloton massed close together again, Merga's surge easily absorbed.

Farah found himself setting the pace with four laps to go, lengthening his stride as Ethiopian team tactics kicked in and they jostled for position, muscling Kenyan-born Bahraini Albert Rop out of the picture.

The real kick came with 800 metres to run, Ndiku stretching out the field for the first real time with an impressive turn of pace.

As the bell for the final lap rang, the Commonwealth champion and reigning world indoor 3000m gold medallist from Kenya remained at the front, chased by Farah and Gebrhiwet at full tilt.

Farah failed to catch the Kenyan around the bend, but coming into the final straight, the Londoner rounded Ndiku to roars from a packed crowd with an amazing turn of speed for an ultimately comfortable victory.

Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha, the world's fastest performer in 2015, came in fourth ahead of Rupp and True.


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