Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Farah Joins Elite Ranks ; Farah among the Few to Win 5,000 and 10,000 Meters at Same Games

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Farah Joins Elite Ranks ; Farah among the Few to Win 5,000 and 10,000 Meters at Same Games

Article excerpt

Mo Farah of Britain has joined the celebrated names of men who have won the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the same Olympics.

Mo Farah of Britain ran toward the line in the 5,000 meters, a slow start becoming a burning finish. His eyes were wide, and his mouth was open, and 80,000 people howled him on toward his second gold medal.

When he reached the end Saturday, in 13 minutes 41.66 seconds, Farah slapped his shaved head in celebration and performed a few situps, as if he still had plenty of energy after hammering the last lap in 52.94 seconds.

This was the slowest Olympic 5,000 final since the 1968 Mexico City Games, but that hardly mattered to Farah. He joined celebrated names like Emil Zatopek of the former Czechoslovakia, Lasse Viren of Finland and Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia among men who have won the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the same Olympics.

"There is no way to describe it," said Farah, 29, who moved to Britain from Somalia when he was 8. "As a young athlete, you dream of becoming Olympic champion. To do it twice is unbelievable."

In the women's 800 meters, Mariya Savinova of Russia won in 1:56.19, and Caster Semenya of South Africa closed furiously to take the silver in 1:57.23. Ekaterina Poistogova took the bronze. Semenya was last midway through the race and seemed to wait too late to make her charge.

Her start appeared to be a tactical mistake, but the finish seemed to confirm the great resolve of an athlete who had been subjected to sex-verification tests in 2009 and withering personal scrutiny as track officials clumsily handled the matter of whether she should be allowed to compete as a woman.

"I feel very proud," Semenya, 21, said.

Farah won the 10,000 meters on Aug. 4 while his American training partner, Galen Rupp, took second with their patient sit-and-kick approach.

Many expected the Ethiopians and Kenyans to open the 5,000 with a fast pace or throw in a fierce charge with three or four laps remaining to attempt to nullify Farah's kick.

Instead, the race opened at a jog, with a 70.6-second first lap. For much of the way, it would be a slow, tactical race. Farah went to the back early and bided his time, moving up eventually to fifth or sixth place with four laps remaining. …

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