Aug 05, 2017 Sports
Daily Mail – This time Sir Mo Farah even found the time and energy to signal to the London crowd with a defiant beat of the chest to raise the decibel level. This time he even saw off what, at times, looked like a concerted effort to unsettle him; not just with some brutal injections of pace but by clipping his heels in the closing laps.
More than 15 laps remained of this 10,000m final but clearly sensing the atmosphere was lacking the delirious fanaticism of that extraordinary Saturday evening five years ago, Farah demanded more as he moved effortlessly up the field. With just under a lap to go those gestures turned angry, Farah punching the air in protest as he so nearly tumbled to the ground.
By then he had already dealt with some fierce raises in tempo, the Kenyan trio nudging four-minute mile pace for two circuits of the track in the middle of the race in a bid to break the Briton.
But a period of dominance unrivalled in the history of distance running continued with aplomb in the end, Farah once again producing the devastating burst of acceleration that has proved so destructive in the closing stages of every major 10,000m race these past six seasons.
Not since August 28, 2011 has Farah been conquered over 25 laps in a championship final, and he was only beaten then because of tactical naivety. That night in Daegu Farah simply went too early, attacking with 500m to go and draining his legs of the strength required to hold off Ibrahim Jeilan in the final 60m.
Farah learned from that mistake, winning the 5000m final that followed a few days later with an approach that has served him so well ever since.
He might still choose to hit the front inside the last two laps. He might raise the tempo of that easy, loping stride when another athlete dares move on to his shoulder. He might even produce those wild-eyed glances back across each shoulder in a seemingly desperate search to see if anyone is catching him. But not until the last curve flows into the straight does Farah now hit the gas for home, preserving enough energy to reach speeds no other stick-thin runner has been able to match.
Never had his attempts to control a race been met with such resistance though, the sight of Abadi Hadis barging past him after Farah tried to take the lead 800m from the finish.
The size of the achievement should not be diminished by the frequency with which we have seen Farah come out on top against the best Kenya and Ethiopia can assemble. It is truly astonishing that he has now secured a 10th straight global title with an 11th likely to follow next week; all the more remarkable that it is actually his 13th consecutive major championship gold if we throw in those European titles too. Never mind his third 10000m world crown.
No other distance runner, not Haile Gebrselassie, not Lasse Viren, not Emil Zatopek, not even Kenenisa Bekele, has been able to perform with such consistency at the very highest level.
Age, it seems, cannot wither Mohamed Muktar Jama Farah. Not until he was 28 did he win that first global title but even at 34, and just a few races from hanging up his spikes, he remains an indomitable presence who somehow manages to steer clear of serious injury and illness when it matters most as well.
The performance director of British Athletics, indeed Farah’s own PR advisers, might now be keen to create some distance between an athlete and a coach who remains at the centre of a doping investigation but there is no denying the impact Alberto Salazar has had on Farah’s career.
When Farah moved to Oregon at the turn of 2011 to work with Salazar, he was nowhere near good enough at to compete at this level. But since then he has undergone a quite amazing transformation.
Victory here – we were told earlier this week – was the product of another Salazar training block that reached its peak at the altitude training camp in Font Romeu 13 days ago. It was after one particular session, revealed Neil Black, that Farah declared himself ready.
He oozed that confidence here last night, waving at the crowd on entering the stadium and bagging yet more precious metal less than half an hour later with his second quickest time over the distance.
Another major title is sure to now come next Saturday, and only then will Farah be done. Only then will someone else be allowed to win.
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