Brilliant Farah surges to golden double

By Neil Maidment, Reuters

Posted at Aug 12 2012 11:36 AM | Updated as of Aug 12 2012 07:36 PM

LONDON - Britain's Mo Farah won the 5,000 metres title and his second Olympic gold medal with a sensational late charge on Saturday amid deafening roars from a crowd witnessing another contender for the greatest moment of the Games.

Farah became the seventh man to win both the 5,000m and 10,000m events at the same Olympics with a blistering last lap that took him over the line in 13 minutes 41.66 seconds.

"I wanted a gold medal for each of my two girls on the way. They could come any day now! It has all worked out well. Two gold medals. Who would have thought that?" said Farah, who was also the first Briton to win either title.

"It's been a long journey of grafting and grafting," he added as spectators chanted his name.

Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia, this year's fastest man, finished in a time of 13:41.98 in silver with Kenya's Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa in bronze.

Reminiscent of the thunderous roars that filled the Olympic stadium a week ago to pull Farah across the line, the 29-year-old timed his race to perfection and delivered a second gold with a courageous last lap he covered in under 53 seconds.

Having been pushed about in the qualifying heats Farah had stayed out of trouble at the back of the pack in a slow set of opening laps and resisted the temptation to kick on when the pace picked up at the halfway stage.

Much like the 10,000, the slow pace was perfect for Farah who was able to move in and out of the pack at will before taking control as the end approached.

With around two laps remaining and showing no signs of the tired legs he had admitted to in qualifying, he made his move to huge roars from the crowd.

Farah picked up the pace and worked hard to see off a number of late challenges before accelerating away from Gebremeskel on the home straight to cross the line to screams and cheers.

Coach Salazar

An elated Farah began his celebrations by doing a few sit-ups before running to greet the crowd and hugging his coach Alberto Salazar, who has helped turn Farah into a world-class athlete since he moved to America in 2011 to work with him.

Farah, who moved to England from Mogadishu, Somalia at the age of eight, grabbed headlines in 2010 with 5,000 and 10,000 European titles but his profile has rocketed since moving to the U.S., winning the world 5,000 title and silver in the 10,000.

This year he added a second European 5,000 title.

Farah's American training partner and friend Galen Rupp, who took 10,000m silver in London, said he was under instructions to protect Farah's small frame.

"I'm thrilled for him, it really couldn't have happened to a better guy," said Rupp who finished the race in seventh.

"He said 'you're a bit of a bigger guy so I'll have you in there to protect me'."

The world's three fastest men this year, Ethiopia's Gebremeskel and Hagos Gebrhiwet, and Kenya's Isiah Kiplangat Koech, were seen as Farah's biggest rivals for gold after setting piercing times this season and having fresher legs.

On the night, Gebremeskel looked the most dangerous of the trio.

His very late charge on the home straight forced Farah to stick the burners on once more having already seen off concerted efforts from American Bernard Lagat and Longosiwa.

"He's a great man. His finishing is really, really good and to be honest mine's not that bad either. On this special occasion he was just better than me," said the 22-year-old Gebremeskel. (Editing by Ed Osmond)