Double gold for Farah
Long distance star thrills the Olympic Stadium for a second time
Last Updated: August 12, 2012 12:17am
Mo Farah completed an epic Olympic double as he added the 5000 metres gold to his 10000m crown on the final night of athletics action at London 2012.
"The Olympics doesn't come round often. It's all worked out well. I'm just amazed. Two gold medals - who would have thought that? I just want to thank everyone who's supported me."
Mo Farah Quotes of the week
Seven days after claiming Britain's third gold in the space of 45 minutes on 'Super Saturday' in the longer distance, Farah produced another brilliant performance to send the Olympic Stadium into wild scenes of celebration once again.
Roared on by a capacity 80,000-strong crowd, the 29-year-old hit the front with 700m remaining and was never headed, covering the last lap in under 53 seconds to hold off Ethiopia's Dejen Gebremeskel to win in 13 minutes and 41.66 seconds. Thomas Longosiwa of Kenya claimed bronze.
Farah therefore added his name to the illustrious group of men who had previously taken the 5,000m and 10,000m titles at the same Games - Hannes Kolehmainen of Finland in 1912, Emil Zatopek of Czechoslovakia in 1952, Vladimir Kuts of the USSR in 1956, Finland's Lasse Viren in 1972 and 1976, Miruts Yifter of Ethiopia in 1980 and countryman Kenenisa Bekele at Beijing four years ago.
His victory also meant Britain have won four track and field golds for only the third time since the Second World War, matching the haul from Tokyo in 1964 and Moscow in 1980, although with six in total, they have fallen short of the target of eight medals set by UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee.
"It's an unbelievable feeling, the best feeling ever," said Farah.
His wife Tania is pregnant with twins, due imminently, and Farah added: "Those two medals are to my two girls that are coming. They're twins so there's one for each. They could arrive any day.
"I just want to thank everyone who's supported me. All my coaches from previous years and all the people who've been involved in my life. I can't thank everybody enough. I want to say particularly to my wife, with her carrying twins, it hasn't been easy but I didn't want to know about it.
"If anything happens she promised she wouldn't let me know so I'm glad it all worked out well. I'm just amazed. Two gold medals - who would have thought that? I never thought coming to London I'd be double Olympic champion.
"It's been a long journey, grafting and grafting, but anything is possible."
Farah also won the double at the European Championships in Barcelona in 2010, but still opted to move his family to Oregon the following year to train full-time with former New York Marathon winner Alberto Salazar.
"I'm glad it paid off, when I was moving to America people were saying everything's going so well why do you need to do that, but as an athlete you sometimes have to make choices and I'm glad I got the right choice," he added.
Farah had looked understandably tired in the heats on Wednesday, after which Gebremeskel acknowledged that running a fast race might be the only way to deny Farah victory.
However, if that was the plan it was curiously ignored as the 15-strong field set out at an incredibly slow pace - with more than one lap taking 73 seconds - 20 more than Farah's closing lap to win the 10,000m.
It took until the midway point of the race for the pace to be wound up but Farah was able to respond and move up to second behind Gebremeskel with three laps to go.
With 700m remaining the 29-year-old hit the front and still led at the bell, at which point he crucially refused to give up his prime position on the inside and accelerated again to stay ahead of the pack.
Gebremeskel, the fastest man in the world this year, briefly closed on Farah down the home straight, but the home favourite was not to be denied a fabulous triumph - and even had the energy to celebrate with a few sit-ups on the track.