Crash or not, nothing can stop Farah over 10,000 at Olympics
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 14, 2016 11:10 AM
Britain's Mo Farah celebrates with the gold medal after the men's 10,000-meter final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
RAF CASERT, AP Sports Writer
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Tripped or not, it seems nothing can stop Mo Farah over 10,000 meters in a major championship.
Not his training partner clipping his heel in the Olympic final. Not the assembled power of Kenya's best trying to wear him down. Not the final kick of his rival Paul Tanui. Farah proved again he is in a league all his own, now right up there with the greatest in history.
In a thrilling Olympic final, the Somali-born British runner even had time to put his hands on top of his head in the trademark "Mobot" sign, as well-known to distance runners as Usain Bolt's "to the world" move.
"It's never easy but everyone knows what I can do," Farah said. "I thought about all my hard work, and that it could all be gone in a minute."
Farah has three Olympic gold medals now from two Olympics and is preparing for the defense of his 5,000 title next week. A good bet considering he has gold in all major races over the distance going back to 2011.
Although he'd welcome a little simpler race next Saturday.
All was going to plan early on in the 10,000, when Farah was safely running in the pack with his American training partner Galen Rupp. Then, after 10 laps Rupp clipped his heel and Farah was down.
"I bumped into him, there was a lot of pushing," Rupp said. Suddenly, Farah's path to a gold medal was significantly more difficult.
"It did take a lot out of me," Farah said in a post-race interview with the BBC. "I knew how hard I've worked and I wasn't going to let that go."
Then the Kenyans chimed in. Farah is known for his unmatched finishing kick, so wearing him down is the only way to win. And after his comeback from the fall, they would perhaps stand a chance. Not this time.
Even when three Kenyan tried to push away from the pack with spurts of acceleration, there was no shaking Farah off.
"It was hard to pick myself up, but I believed in myself and the work I went through," he said.
He took the lead with one kilometer to go, and usually that means the race is over. Yet this time, Tanui would not let go.
A bunch of four trailed Farah at the bell, and Tanui saw his chance down the back straight to finally break Farah's hold on long-distance racing.
No way. Farah produced yet another comeback and once he swerved past Tanui going into the final straight, he might as well have started his victory lap. He won in 27 minutes, 5.17 seconds. Tanui held on for silver in 27:05.64 and Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia took bronze.
He fell to the track at the finish, his face down, trying hard to take it all in.
A back-to-back long-distance double at the Olympics is a feat not achieved since Finn Lasse Viren did it the 1970s.
Follow Raf Casert on Twitter at http://twitter.com/rcasert