x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Athletics: Mo Farah runs into the record books

Double joy for Briton and Usain Bolt eases into 200m final

Britain's Mo Farah.
Britain's Mo Farah.

Britain's Mo Farah outfoxed the fast-paced Kenyan team tactics to become the second man to achieve the double of world and Olympics 5,000- and 10,000-metres titles at the World Championships last night in Moscow.

Farah, who won an emotional double gold at the Olympics last year in the Somalia-born athlete's adopted home city of London, produced a courageous display to win the 10,000m last Saturday and needed all his wits about him in the shorter race.

He emulated Kenenisa Bekele's double at the 2009 worlds in Berlin, which followed his victories in the 2008 Beijing Olympic. Farah clocked 13 minutes, 26.98 seconds, with Ethiopia's Hagos Gebrhiwet taking silver in 13:27.26 in a photo finish from the bronze medallist, the Kenyan Isiah Koech.

"It's something I have worked very hard for. I was thinking about the kids and being away from them for so long," said Farah, who trains under Alberto Salazar in Portland, Oregon. "The twins didn't recognise me. I have been away so long and they are growing so fast.

"It was harder than last year, but I have a great team. I couldn't achieve this without them. There was a lot of pressure but I enjoyed it and I am proud to hold the Union Jack."

As expected, the Kenyans adopted a different race strategy, Koech and Thomas Longosiwa setting a blazing pace in the first two laps and shooting out to a 40-metre lead in a bid to disrupt the Briton's rhythm.

But Ethiopia's Muktar Edris led the pack in reeling them in.

At 2,000m, as he had done twice in the 10,000m, Farah moved to the front of the pack with the express intention of slowing the pace.

It worked as the field bunched once again in double file and the lap paces dropped dramatically. Farah regained the lead with 650 metres left, and fought off repeated challenges over the final lap.

Earlier, running on a taped and tender right foot, Usain Bolt coasted into tonight's 200m final and set himself up for a second gold.

With only two assured qualification spots from his heat, the 100m champion switched into a higher gear at the end of yesterday's race when Anaso Jobodwana unexpectedly appeared on his left shoulder.

Bolt momentarily gritted his teeth but soon turned them into a grin as he held off the South African and took first place in his semi-final heat in 20.12 seconds.

"At the last minute when I started slowing down, I heard South Africa on my inside," Bolt said. "I didn't want to lose the race so I picked up the speed again."

Curtis Mitchell was the top qualifier in 19.97, but saw his American teammates eliminated from the final. Bolt was joined in the final by Jamaican teammates Nickel Ashmeade and Warren Weir.

Bolt had been troubled by a sore foot since he regained his 100m title last Sunday. He said he dropped a starting block on his foot in training. "It was just a mistake … I was moving it and dropped it on my foot."

If Bolt wins, he goes into the 4x100m relay tomorrow seeking to win three golds at the worlds for the second time, matching his feat from the last two Olympics.

Aleksandr Menkov of Russia won the men's long jump, beating Ignisious Gaisah of the Netherlands. The Olympic champion Tatyana Lysenko of Russia set a World Championships record to retain her hammer throw title. David Storl of Germany retained his title in the men's shot put.

Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the women's 200m as main rival Allyson Felix pulled up during the race with an injured leg.

The United States easily won the men's 4x400m relay, ahead of Jamaica and Russia.