Mo Farah made history here at the London edition of the World Athletics Championships as he claimed gold in the men’s 10,000m to become the first athlete ever to win 10 consecutive global track distance titles.
Mo Farah crosses the line at the London Stadium Getty
Returning to the venue where he was first propelled towards stardom at the 2012 Games, the four-time Olympic champion stormed to victory in a time of 26 minutes 49.51 seconds to consolidate his status as Britain’s greatest track runner.
Friday’s gold marks Farah’s sixth title at the World Championships and a third in the 10,000m after victories in Moscow in 2013 and Beijing two years ago.
Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda won silver with a time of 26 mins 49.94 secs while Kenya’s Paul Tanui took bronze after clocking in at 26 mins 50.60 secs.
Farah, who will retire from the track later this month, now turns his attention to next Saturday’s 5,000m final as he bids to claim one last final gold to cap off what has been a remarkable career.
“It was one of the toughest races of my life,” the 34-year-old said afterwards. “The guys gave it to me, it wasn’t about Mo, it was about ‘how do we beat Mo?’
“You had the Kenyans, the Ethiopians, the Ugandans, everybody working as a team against me. Fair play to them, they worked it hard and they chucked everything at me. I just had to stay strong, believe in myself and think, ‘I didn’t work for nothing, I’m not losing in my home town. I can’t’.
“At one point in the middle of the race I wasn’t thinking I was going to lose, but I thought ‘this is tough, this is tough’.”
Friday’s race marked five years to the day that Farah clinched his first Olympic 10,000m gold on ‘Super Saturday’ at the 2012 Games and the London Stadium naturally welcomed the return of Britain’s golden boy with rip-roaring enthusiasm.
The sense of excitement and expectation was palpable as Farah got his race under way, gesturing to the crowd in the early stages in a bid to ramp up the volume.
The thousands of fans duly obliged, filling the venue with a deafening roar, and as the midway mark approached the Briton had comfortably nestled himself among the centre of the leading pack.
It was against such a backdrop that Farah spurred himself onwards, slowly but surely creeping his way forward in preparation of the final assault having kept afoot with the fast opening pace set by the Ugandans.
As the final 800m approached, the 34-year-old edged to the front in typical fashion and, despite being almost tripped on his last lap, held on to his lead to cross the line in 26 min and 49 secs – his best time since 2011.
“It was amazing,” Farah added. ”I had to get my head around it and I got a bit emotional at the start. I had to get in the zone.
“What a way to end my career in London. It’s special.”
Special indeed – and with next Saturday’s race to come, Farah looks set to do it all over again.