London 2017: Mo Farah battles hard for final 10000m gold

Kristopher Nichols
August 7, 2017

They stacked the numbers against him and roughed up 34-year-old Farah, who twice nearly stumbled to the ground on the last of the 25 laps.

Farah played his tactics to perfection and survived a late stumble after clipping heels with one of his Kenyan competitors, even appearing to slow down intentionally near the finish in an effort to bait those around him.

The Briton, who won in the same stadium where he claimed Olympic gold in 2012 and is yet to be beaten there, added that his confidence grew after he weathered the earlier storm in the 10,000m race.

And from the start his rivals looked to work together to upset his plans, Cheptegei and Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor taking the field through the first 1,000m in a brisk two mins 39 secs.

It was Hadis, the fastest man in the world this year, who led towards the closing stages, though Farah moved up towards his shoulder with two laps to go. Farah tripped twice in Rio, but on this occasion, there were no issues - only a sure-footed effort that displayed guile and stamina.

But there was no stopping him, the capacity crowd screaming him home once again.

However, an hour after the race, though he required medical treament on his legs, he said he would not miss the 5,000m and the chance to complete a "triple double" at the world championships. I have got a few cuts and bruises, just recover and get ready for the 5k [5,000m]. I had to get my head around it.

"It wasn't an easy race".

"It's been hard but I'm just mentally strong I guess".

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Farah told ITV News he is now determined to win gold in the 5,000m on Saturday, August 12, and end his track career on a high. Hard races have to be run, you have to know how races are run, what they are going to do, who is capable of what. As expected, the likes of the Kenyans, Ethiopians, and the Ugandans worked with each other to try and stay in the best position. "It is like a formula and tactically you have to get it right".

The 34-year-old, who will retire from the track later this month, won in 26 minutes 49.51 seconds to claim his sixth world title.

There was a distinct air of satisfaction around Farah that they failed, an extra pride that the combined force of the pack couldn't stop him. "I've got enough days", Farah said, as quoted by the BBC. Mo's last ever 10,000m in a Championship in his favourite stadium.

On Friday, the noise levels were close to the same and Farah knew how to let it push him to an unprecedented 10th straight global long-distance title. "He's a true British sporting hero".

Very few athletes earn a cheer greater than Usain Bolt on the same night of competition.

"That was very bad", he said after winning in 10.07 seconds.

Britain's Laura Muir, Jess Judd, Laura Weightman and Sarah McDonald all qualified safely for the semi-finals of the 1500m on a fine opening night for home athletes.

"It was one of the toughest races of my life".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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