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Farah wins men's 5,000m, completes back-to-back doubles

The Canadian Press

8/16/2013 1:37:44 PM

MOSCOW -- For the second year in a row, Mo Farah did the double.

The British runner became only the second man to hold both the 5,000 and 10,000-meter titles from both the Olympics and the world championships at the same time.

"It's amazing. There's not many athletes who have done that. Only the great Kenenisa Bekele, who has achieved so many things," said Farah, who defended his 5,000 title Friday at Luzhniki Stadium. "And to be able to achieve what he has achieved is just an honour."

Farah barely lost the 10,000 at the last worlds two years ago in South Korea, but rebounded to win the 5,000. Then, running at home at the London Olympics, Farah won both distance events.

Bekele is the only other man to have ever held both the Olympic and world 5,000 and 10,000 titles at the same time. The Ethiopian great won his Olympic titles at the 2008 Beijing Games and then repeated that feat at the 2009 worlds in Berlin.

On Friday, Farah broke away from the pack with about 600 metres to go and fended off challenges from Isaiah Koech of Kenya and Hagos Gebrhiwet of Ethiopia in the home straight. He won in 13 minutes, 26.98 seconds.

Going in to the last lap, Gebrhiwet and Koech were gaining on Farah. But the Briton stayed ahead and down the stretch produced the trademark kick that has made him the man to beat.

"I had a stitch from about eight laps to go and I was kind of pushing my stomach in, but then the pace slowed down and I tried to forget about it and come through," Farah said. "I enjoyed tonight and now I'm looking forward to a bit of time off and spending it with the family."

Gebrhiwet ended up with the silver in 13:27.26, one-thousandth of a second ahead of Koech, who was credited with the same time for bronze.

Two years ago, Farah was only seconds away from his first long-distance double, but Ibrahim Jeilan of Ethiopia nipped him at the line, leaving him with silver.

"I never thought in my career that I'd be able to achieve something like this," said Farah, who became Britain's most decorated track athlete ever with his fifth major title. "Anything is possible I guess."