The man who trailed in Mo Farah’s wake in the 5,000 metres at the World Championships in Daegu admitted the Briton was as good as unbeatable in Sunday’s final.
Farah held off American Bernard Lagat to win gold in a dramatic race and help make up for the disappointment of having to settle for silver in the 10,000m seven days earlier.
Lagat, the world champion over 1500 and 5,000m in 2007, tracked Farah for much of the race, but had no answer to the 28-year-old’s final-lap kick
Farah, having learned from the mistake he made in the 10,000m when he was passed in the last 30m by unknown Ethiopian Ibrahim Jeilan, bravely held on to win by 0.28 seconds and become the first British man to win a world title over 5,000m.
‘Mo Farah is a strong athlete. he said he wanted to put himself in a winning position and he did,’ Lagat said.
‘I knew with the way he ran there was no way he was going to get beaten
‘I got myself boxed in, which was as frustrating as hell. I tried to push and tried to go hard, but when somebody’s running 25 or 24 (seconds for the last 200m) what I am supposed to do – run 22?
‘It’s really hard to run 22 in order to catch him. I tried to catch Mo Farah but he had already gone.’
Farah’s strength was all the more impressive given he had been involved in a gruelling 10,000m final, while this was Kenya-born Lagat’s only event of the championships.
And it was further vindication of Farah’s decision – as if any more was needed given his excellent form this season – to relocate to Portland, Oregon, to train under coach Alberto Salazar.
The Somalia-born Londoner, who did the long-distance double at the European Championships last year, waited until the day before Thursday’s heats to confirm he would race the 5,000m to see how his body recovered, but Salazar was always confident that would not be a problem.
‘I’d seen him all week,’ said Salazar, who also coaches American runner Galen Rupp, who finished ninth.
‘We do a lot of stuff, run hard and then come back three or four days later with equally hard workouts. They are obviously not as hard as the race, but I’ve never seen any problems with his recovery.
‘Galen had a little harder time recovering but Mo’s stronger and I didn’t really have any doubt that he would be ready to go.’
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