Beijing: Mo Farah became the first man to win back-to-back world distance doubles when he stormed to 5,000 metres victory at Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium on Saturday. The Briton, rocked this season by doping allegations against his coach, put the row behind him as he produced 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. The victory for Farah, who won the 10,000m on the opening weekend, seals a unique “triple double” of distance titles at consecutive world championships and the London Olympics.
Great Britain’s Mo Farah poses with 5,000 metres gold medal. PIC/GETTY IMAGES
“Tonight I had to dig deep, it came down to the last 100 metres,” said the Somali-born Farah, 32.
“I felt a bit tired going through the rounds and coming back again. It’s difficult as everybody has got great speed and there are a lot of guys capable of winning. They went for it. The important thing was to win the race and I did that!” Farah’s victory gave him an unprecedented seventh successive distance win at world championships and Olympics, stretching back to his 5,000m gold at Daegu in 2011.
Farah’s British team-mate Tom Farrell led the slow opening pace for the 15-man field of the 12-and-a-half laps of the Bird’s Nest stadium 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 embattled coach Alberto 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.