British runner books final berth despite being clipped 200m before finishline
Beijing: Mo Farah's bid to defend his double world distance titles almost came unstuck yesterday as he was tripped coming into the final 200 metres of his 5,000m heat.
Mo Farah (centre) trips as he runs between Ethiopia's Yomif Kejelcha (left) and United States’ Galen Rupp (right) in the men's 5000m heats at Beijing National Stadium yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
Great Britain's Farah, who won 10,000m gold on Saturday, was in control of the race throughout but was clipped coming into the final bend, leaving him with a cut toe and causing him to stumble badly before correcting himself.
To gasps from the Bird's Nest crowd in Beijing, Farah relaunched himself to finish second behind Ethiopian winner Yomif Kejelcha, the world's fastest performer in 2015, who timed 13min 19.38sec in the hot morning sun.
Another Ethiopian, Hagos Gebrhiwet, won the first heat, clocking 13:45.00 to set up a mouth-watering clash in the final scheduled for 1130GMT on Saturday.
Deja vu for Farah
"It felt all right. I nearly went down — again!" laughed Farah in reference to stumbling also in the 10,000m final.
"I hope it doesn't come a third time, that would be bad luck. Somebody just caught my legs. It's the way I run, I've got long strides so I don't blame anybody. It just happens. That's why sometimes I just have to be at the front or the back or stay on the outside."
Victory for Farah on Saturday would signify an unprecedented seventh successive win in the 5,000 or 10,000m at a world championships or Olympics stretching back to 2011.
Farah warned, however, that he would take nothing for granted. "You might be the favourite but anything can happen. I think there are three or four guys who are capable. Three Ethiopians and two Kenyans in the final — I don't know what's going to happen," he said.