Britain’s Mo Farah has become only the second man ever in the history to retain both 5,000m and 10,000m Gold medals in Olympics.
Farah has now equalled Finland’s Lasse Viren, who too won both titles in 1972 and 1976.
Farah, an African immigrant, has also won the double twice in the same athletic events at the world championships, thereby securing his place among the all-time greats of his sport.
The 33-year-old, as reported by Reuters, dealt with everything the field could throw at him, even taking up the pace midway through the race to stamp his authority on the race.
As he did in the 10,000m race, Farah’s speed was way beyond anybody to match in the last lap as he surged clear of a field that contained four men with faster personal bests but none with his track-craft and iron will.
“I hate to lose, I have that drive, it’s just me,” Farah told reporters.
“I can’t quite believe it. I wished for just one medal as a junior. It has been a long journey but if you dream of something, have ambitions and are willing to work hard then you can get your dreams.” After a long-drawn out series of appeals and counter-claims,
The medals were presented approaching midnight in a deserted stadium, a far cry from four years ago when Farah was acclaimed by 80,000 fans in his home city of London.
“I didn’t just fluke it in London, to do it again is incredible,” he said. Despite his pedigree, it looked as if Saturday’s race might be Farah’s most testing of all as Ethiopian trio Dejen Gebremeskel, Muktar Edris and Gebrhiwet all passed up running in the 10,000m to concentrate on the shorter distance.
“I was surprised by the first lap, I thought it was going to be a slow race. They had a plan, they wanted to take the sting out of me but when I hit the front, I wasn’t letting anyone past,” he said. “My legs were a bit tired after the 10k I don’t now how I recovered. Now I just want to see my kids and hang this medal around their necks.”
In 10,000m race last week, Farah had tripped and fell over during the competition and at one point his medal prospects looked bleak. But being a champion that Farah is, he got up to make sure he had won the double for his children.
Frah had said about his tumble, “It is a good job it happened so early in the race otherwise that would have been it.
“I thought of my daughter Rhianna and all the time I have spent away from her – and that is what made me get up and get back.
“I told her I was going to get her a medal and I just kept on thinking about that, I did not want to let her down, I did not want to let my country down.
“I got my rhythm back and just thought, ‘Don’t panic, don’t panic, don’t panic, you can get through this’.”
Mo managed to do his ‘Mo-bot’ sign after crossing the line before collapsing to the track in tears of joy and relief.