BRITAIN’S MO FARAH timed his trademark kick from 600 metres to perfection to win the men’s 5000m on Saturday to clinch a popular home Olympic double after having already triumphed in the 10,000m.
Farah timed 13min 41.66sec, with Ethiopian Dejen Gebremeskel taking silver in 13:41.98 and Kenya’s Thomas Longosiwa claiming bronze (13:42.36).
The victory allowed the 29-year-old Farah to add his name to an illustrious list of runners who have already achieved the double, including Czech Emil Zatopek, Finland’s Lasse Viren, Ethiopian Miruts Yifter and, most recently, Kenenisa Bekele, also of Ethiopia, at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Moroccan Abdalaati Iguider led through the first lap in a pedestrian 1min 11sec, with Farah seemingly soaking up the atmosphere two metres off the tailender.
Ethiopian-born Azeri Hayle Ibrahimov took up the running, until Farah strode to the front after opening the 1km.
The atmosphere in the 80,000-capacity Olympic Stadium was electric, the crowd rising to their feet, waving Union Jack flags and roaring every time the runners passed.
Lopez Lomong, who escaped war-torn Sudan as a refugee child and was adopted by an American family and now represents the United States, headed the field through with six laps to go.
With few surges, the slow pace continued for another lap until Ethiopian duo Yenew Alamirew and Gebremeskel lengthened their strides.
Farah sat on Gebremeskel’s shoulder and took the lead with 600 metres to go.
Training partner Galen Rupp of the United States joined him but was then overtaken by Lagat and a barging Alamirew.
The pace upped, the noise reaching a crescendo as Farah rounded the final bend with gritted teeth, eyes glued on the big screen television beyond the finish line.
Gebremeskel and Longosiwa emerged on his shoulder, but Farah had just reserves in his legs to keep in front. A third American, the Kenya-born Bernard Lagat finished fourth, with Kenya’s Isiah Koech in fifth.
Farah crossed the line with arms raised, mouth and eyes opened wide in shock, before slapping his shaven head, punching the air and making a triumphant lap of honour with a British flag knotted aroung his neck.
David Bowie’s ‘We can be heroes’ blasted from the tannoy as the crowd screamed out ‘Mo, Mo!’ in unison.