Last Updated: June 28, 2012 10:54am
Mo Farah: Celebrates his victory in Helsinki
Mo Farah insists that he can still improve despite becoming the first man to retain the 5,000m title in the history of the European Championships.
Farah strengthened his position as favourite for Olympic gold in London with an extremely composed performance, which saw him take the lead with five laps to go and never looked in danger of being overtaken.
The 29-year-old, who is also world champion over the distance, powered to success in Helsinki's Olympic Stadium in 13 minutes 29.91 seconds. Although that was more than 30 seconds slower than his world-leading time in 2012 set in Eugene, Oregon earlier this month, it proved how he is now capable of winning more tactical championship races.
Farah, after winning by almost two seconds from Germany's Arne Gabius, with Turkey's Kemboi Arikan claiming bronze, said: "There is a lot of stuff to be worked on.
"I will look back and watch the race and tell my coach (Alberto Salazar) how I felt. He was with my training partner Galen Rupp at the US trials and I told him I would take care of things here.
"The indoor season was disappointing [Farah lost several races and failed to win a medal at the world indoors in Istanbul], but indoors is one thing and outdoors another.
"It seems to be going in the right direction and what really did it for me was Eugene where I ran sub-13 minutes, beating a good field. It's all going in the right direction; I just have to stay injury free."
It was all a far cry from Farah's last appearance - or non-appearance - on the track, which saw him accused of being "disrespectful" to fellow competitors and letting down the paying public.
On Friday night at the Olympic trials in Birmingham, Farah easily won his heat of the 1,500m and celebrated well before the line with his so-called 'Mobot,' before then withdrawing from Saturday's final.
"There is a lot of stuff to be worked on. "
Mo Farah Quotes of the week
Anthony Whiteman, who finished fifth behind Farah, felt it was "out of order", adding: "On the last lap Mo kept looking round to see the best time to do his showboating. It is disrespectful to the athletes behind him working their backsides off."
Farah insisted that was not the case, adding: "I got a little bit of stick for it but I didn't intend to disrespect anyone. Sometimes you get carried away and do a celebration.
"I didn't do the 1,500m final but it was just to save my legs and to come out here and get a good race and see where I am. I apologise to everyone who bought tickets (but) this medal means more to me than doing the final and getting a medal there."
Farah's win was in stark contrast to many of his team-mates' results on the opening day of competition. Luke Gunn's Olympic dreams ended in tears after he crashed out of the 3,000m steeplechase semi-final, and Luke Lennon-Ford's coming to grief thanks to a "blatantly tight" track.
Gunn added: "It's been the sole aim for the last four or five years and I'm absolutely devastated.
"I hopped straight back up because it was early in the race but I hit the barrier hard and I could not carry on, my knee was locking up."
In the 400m a total of seven athletes were initially disqualified for lane infringements from the five heats - Slovenia's Brent Larue even managed to get disqualified from both the 400m and 400m hurdles. Although Richard Buck was subsequently reinstated thanks to "inconclusive" video evidence, team-mate Lennon-Ford had no such recourse.
The 23-year-old blamed renovations to the stadium which saw the track re-laid after the football pitch in the infield was extended to meet international regulations, saying: "One of the Finnish radio reporters told me they've changed the curve and they have blatantly made it too tight."
DOB: 17/5/1956 Event: Boxing Medals: 1 gold Flag: USA
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