Tens of thousands of Race for Lifers, parkrunners and occasional 5K runners across the UK wowed and wooped as Mo Farah fashioned the race of his life to become world champion in Daegu, South Korea earlier today (Sunday, September 4). The 31 year old endurance ace put aside the disappointment of silver in the 10,000 metres to execute a perfectly run 5,000 metres and hold off the late challenge of heavily fancied American flyer Bernard Lagat.
The initial stages of the race were a 'cagey' affair as runners jockeyed for position and tried to avoid any mishaps. The slow early pace favoured Lagat looking very comfortable as he settled on Farah's shoulder in sixth place when the Briton moved up after half-way.
Young Kenyan hopeful Isiah Koech always occupied a prominent position and was clearly a danger while former champion Eliud Kipchoge was also close to the lead as the race entered the final laps. The third Kenyan Thomas Longosiwa's chances were dealt a severe blow when he tripped and lost ground late on.
Mighty Mo eased to the front with 800 metres to go, and over the last two laps he cranked up the pressure and saw most of his rivals drop away, however Lagat was still there and the American made a determined push in the home straight. Would Farah's 10,000 metre experience be repeated? The TV legions back in the UK were now out of their chairs.
However the popular Londoner held his nerve, and his place, to hold off Lagat and win in 13:23:36, a margin of just 0.28 seconds. Imane Merga took bronze for Ethiopia in 13:23.78.
Mo Farah now looks to the 2012 Olympics as a world champion and must now believe that his double gold dream is a real possibility. Distance running fans are eyeing the Great North Run weekend (September 17/18 ) and hoping that Mo Farah takes his place in the half marathon field. Watch this space!
POSTSCRIPT: Imane Merga (Ethiopia) finished in the bronze position but was disqualified for running on the inside of the track. Dejen Gebremeskel moved up to third.