Mo Farah became Britain’s first 5,000 metres World Champion when he produced a spectacular display of distance running to win the the event in 13 minutes and 23.36 seconds, in an enthralling race at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu.
Farah, who had to settle for silver in the 10,000 metres earlier in the tournament, learnt from his mistake and ran a tactically supreme race. He waited patiently, biding his time before kicking at about 600 metres from the finish line to storm to first place. The gold was his and not even a fast finishing Bernard Lagat of America, who eventually took silver, could deny him victory. Ethiopia’s Imane Merga came third but was later disqualified, and his compatriot Dejen Gebremeskel was given the bronze.
It was sweet redemption for Farah after years of hard work and after seeing the gold medal painfully snatched from his grasp in the 10,000 metres. Farah said: “I’m very proud, I can’t believe it. It hasn’t quite sunk in. I came so close in the 10,000. I just had to try and dig in. I just had to try and relax and get it right. It’s a great feeling, it’s an amazing feeling.”
Meanwhile, Phillips Idowu’s bid to retain his Triple Jump crown was dashed when American Christian Taylor leapt the fifth best jump in history, a world-leading mark of 17. 96m, beating Idowu’s season’s best of 17.77m.
It was a Kenyan one-two in the Men’s Marathon with Abel Kirui taking the gold in 2:07:38, Vincent Kipruto claiming silver in 2:10:06 and Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia taking the bronze medal.
Defending Champion Caster Semenya had to settle for second place to the advantage of Russia’s Mariya Savinova in the 800 metres in a winning time of 1:55.87; bronze went to Kenya’s Janeth Jepkosgei. The women’s 4×100 metres relay was won by the USA in 41.56 seconds, followed closely by Jamaica who took silver, and Ukraine, bronze.
The Championships closed in record-breaking fashion as Jamaica’s 4×100 relay team, anchored by Usain Bolt, blitzed the sprint event to set a new world record of 37.04 seconds. It was a race packed with drama, where both Britain and America failed to finish the race after USA’s Darvis Patton collided with Britain’s Harry Aikines-Aryeetey at the final handover. France took second in a time of 38.20 seconds, ahead of Saint Kitts and Nevis (38.49).
Britain finished the Championships with seven medals, sixth on the medal table, including two gold won by Mo Farah and Dai Greene. America topped the table with 25 medals.