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Farah the golden boy

Mo Farah in Moscow

Mo Farah is the 10,000m champion of the world after a performance on Saturday that put an end to the demons that have swirled around him for two years.

But in a race of thrilling drama at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, history threatened to repeat itself for Europe’s greatest distance runner as he hit the home turn.

He is the double Olympic champion and he is the triple European champion but at the last World Championships in Daegu in 2011 he was beaten on the line by Ethiopia’s Ibrahim Jeilan.

Throughout a race where Farah dominated the tactics when he wanted to – starting out at the back and then moving to the front just to let the others know he was there – Jeilan never looked like he would make his move this time.

But as Farah powered along the home straight having taken control with 600m left, Jeilan turned back the clock to South Korea.

With every step he closed in on Farah, but the Briton has so much more strength than in Daegu and he desperately did not want to lose.

He held on, looking to his right all the time as Jeilan moved closer, but he had too much.

Gold it is for Farah, winning in 27:21.71, from Jeilan, second in 27:22.23, with Kenya’s Paula Kipngetich Tanui third in 27:22.61.

And 12 months on from his Olympic double in London, Farah now owns all four global long-distance track titles, with the defence of his 5000m crown here later on the week.

As he crossed the line, he went down on his knees and kissed the track – and the smile never left his face.
But Farah knew how tough it has been and how determined he was not to lose.

He said: “I have the experience from a couple of years and I saw him (Jeilan) getting closer at the bell.
“It was important I had something left and it was great to beat him this time.

“I did not want to lose again. I remembered a couple of years ago and I just kept digging and digging.”

There was a quick early pace and then it slowed again. The other 34 in the big field knew Farah had a powerful final kick but they could not break him at any stage, with his training partner Galen Rupp on his shoulder for a long time which would not let many go past as Farah moved up.

But Farah has such control and confidence and Europe has a distance runner who has not only taken on and beaten the might of Africa, but he now plays Kenyans and Ethiopians at their own game by the way he dominates races – even when he is in last place.

They know he is there ready to pounce, but they do not know when.

There were a few hairy moments, particularly in a field of this size, with some bumping and barging and Farah added: “I nearly went down a couple of times but I covered every move.”

And when the moment came, Farah had enough, with glorious reward for all his work. The sprint speed in his legs was just too much for Jeilan, with Farah’s face contorted with pain which quickly turned to joy.

As he said: “Training has been really hard, I have been away from my family for a long time but it is definitely worth it.”

The next European was Italy’s Daniel Meucci, who was 19th in 28:06.74, with Belgium’s Bashir Abdi 23rd in 28:41.69.

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