x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Mo Farah kicks 10,000m rivals aside at World Championships

Mo Farah roared to 10,000 metres gold at the World Championships in Moscow, spurred on by a sour memory from two years ago.

Mo Farah of Great Britain celebrates winning gold in the Men's 10,000 metres final during the first day of the IAAF World Athletics Championships at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Saturday. Cameron Spencer / Getty Images
Mo Farah of Great Britain celebrates winning gold in the Men's 10,000 metres final during the first day of the IAAF World Athletics Championships at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Saturday. Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

MOSCOW // Mo Farah roared to 10,000 metres gold at the World Championships in Moscow on Saturday, spurred on by the memory of having the title snatched from his grasp two years ago.

The double Olympic champion produced his now customary blistering final lap to defeat the Ethiopian Ibrahim Jeilan, the man who pipped him to the crown at Daegu in 2011.

The Briton took the lead with two laps to go, having recovered from an apparent stumble, and had the strength in the home straight to hold off Jeilan and take victory in 27 minutes, 21.71 seconds.

"I had the experience from a couple of years ago and this time I saw him coming at the bell, so I knew he was always behind me," he told BBC One. "It was important I had something left and it was nice to win it and beat him this time after finishing second.

"I nearly went down a couple of times, but thank God I didn't, and I just managed to cover every move. It was important for me and my training partner Galen Rupp to work together. We knew from the pace that the guys knew we've got speed, so the guys were going out there to take a lot out of me.

"I didn't want to lose again. I remember a couple of years ago I was second and I was just digging in, digging in and making sure I didn't over stride. I kept looking across and you could see in my eyes, just making sure they didn't come after me.

"It was nice to come out here and win it. That was the one missing. It was definitely well worth it."

Farah responded to his 2011 disappointment by winning the 5,000m title days later and then unforgettably taking double gold at the Olympic Stadium in London last year.

The 30-year-old Somalia-born runner had said ahead of Moscow he now has a target on his back every time he raced, but warned his rivals he was a better athlete this year than at London 2012.

He was not wrong. Farah has honed his ferocious kick, helped by the sort of speed that saw him break the European 1,500m record at Monaco last month, and his finishing speed was once again in evidence here.

A 54.49-second last lap saw off his rivals and Farah spread his arms wide as he crossed the line, even if the cheers from the meagre crowd inside the Luzhniki Stadium was in stark contrast to the roar that urged him on last summer.

"It's hard work," he said. "Sometimes it's just easier to go out in the race and do it like my 1,500m race at Monaco, where I just went out there and ended up running a personal best."

In Saturday night's race, the Kenyans and Ethiopians assembled at the front and looked keen to work together to stop the favourite.

Farah was the only Briton in the 32-strong field, but he had American training partners Rupp, the silver medallist in London, and Dathan Ritzenhein alongside him, and Farah took closer order with eight laps remaining.

There was a scare when he stumbled after an apparent clash of legs four laps from the end, but he managed to keep his feet –and his head.

Defending champion Jeilan briefly threatened to produce an upset yet again as he, too, finished strongly, but Farah was a different proposition this time around.

Jeilan took the silver, 0.52 secs behind Farah, with Kenya's Paul Kipngetich Tanui getting bronze, 0.90s behind the winner.

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