Britain’s Farah wins 5000m world title


Britain’s Mo Farah won a thrilling battle down the home stretch to take world gold in the men’s 5000m on Sunday, putting behind him the disappointment of just missing out on the 10,000m title. Farah was in front entering the home straight but was sucked into a four-way sprint for the line with America’s Bernard Lagat and Ethiopian pair Imane Merga and Dejen Gebremeskel.
Lagat, the 2007 champion, came round the outside of the two Ethiopians to finish second behind Farah, who crossed the line in 13min 23.36sec, just 0.28sec ahead of his American rival. Farah, the first British athlete to win a global long-distance event, said: “It hasn’t sunk in yet. I wanted to put things right after the 10k. It was key today to wind it up and not let anyone go past me and then dig in after that. “I knew Bernard Lagat coming up from 1500m would have the speed. “My coaches said ‘believe in yourself’ and I did and it worked and the sacrifices like moving away from home to the US to train have paid off.”
The race took a long time to come to the boil with nobody prepared to risk breaking out from the pack. Farah hit the front with two laps to go and the pace noticeably picked up at the bell but the British runner found the strength to see off a fast-closing Lagat. “The race came down to a sprint finish and I am glad I took it. I believe in my coach and that’s important mentally. You have to be strong. When you come so close to gold, you want that gold. You do everything you can,” said Farah. “I am glad I made the choice to change from football to athletics,” he added. “Thanks to my PE (sports) teacher, who took me to my local club and introduced me to athletics.” Lagat, who also won 1,500m gold in 2007 to go with his 5,000m crown, was happy with his silver.
“It turned out to be a good race for me,” he said. “I tried to put myself in a good position for the long kick but I got kind of blocked. “When I got out it was too late to get ahead. But I am still proud of my silver medal. This is good motivation for me for 2012.” Merga finished third but was disqualified for stepping inside the curb and Gebremeskel took bronze in 13:23.92. After the race Farah fell to his knees and kissed the track before embracing training partner Galen Rupp of the United States and coach Alberto Salazar. Farah was pipped to gold in the 10,000m by Ethiopia’s Ibrahim Jeilan.