Beijing: Mo Farah etched his name in the pantheon of middle distance running greats and put a tough season opening behind him on Saturday when he defended his 10,000m title at the world championships in Beijing.
Mo Farah (right) reacts after crossing the finish line in the men's 10,000 metres final at Beijing's 'Bird's Nest' National Stadium on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
The Briton's victory was his sixth consecutive global track distance title, an unprecedented feat that saw him better the likes of legends Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie.
"It was amazing to be able to go out there, cross the line and defend my title," said Farah after winning in a time of 27 minutes, 01.13 seconds. "It hasn't been an easy year, but I let my running do the talking.
My victory is for my family and the people behind and supporting me," added Farah, who has faced criticism this year after his coach Alberto Salazar became embroiled in a doping controversy.
'It wasn't easy'
"Tonight winning meant so much to me. Obviously all that stuff kicked off and it wasn't easy but I had to deal with it — it's what comes with being a role model."
Since losing to Ibrahim Jeilan in the 10,000m at the 2011 worlds in Daegu, Farah rebounded to win the 5,000m in South Korea, and followed up with 5,000m-10,000m doubles at both the London 2012 Olympics and the 2013 world championships in Moscow.
Having now defended his title here, he will have a chance to make it seven global titles in the 5,000m, scheduled for next Saturday. "I'll just get a nice bath, recover, eat well and go now and rest up," Farah said.
"I just get to keep doing what I'm good at and that is running and winning medals for my country. 'Go hard or go home' is a phrase I say to myself. I just have to concentrate on winning my races."
Should he complete a Beijing double, he would become the first man to complete a 5,000 and 10,000m double at consecutive world championships.