A lot of people were betting Britain’s Mo Farah would take home the number prize in the 5,000m run just like he did a few days earlier in the 10,000m. Some still had their doubts, though. He actually came in ranked eleventh, but he’s peaking at the perfect time. With a race packed with world renowned runners, he stayed calm running the first few laps in dead last. The pack went out at a pedestrian pace compared to what they’re capable of, which played right into Farah’s hands.
As usual, it was the Kenyans and Ethiopians leading most of the race with various other athletes pushing the pace for a few seconds only to be taken over shortly thereafter. Lopez Lomong of the US was one of those runners, breaking far out of the pack in attempts to up the pace. Meanwhile, Farah hung back in sixth/seventh place just biding his time. Galen Rupp, US 10,000m silver medalist and training partner with Farah, stayed right on his shoulder. Rupp only just recently mastered his sprint speed in order to keep up with the African runners in the last 200 meters of the long distance races.
With the bell lap ringing, Rupp and Bernard Lagat, also of the US, made a move together to the front. Fans went crazy only to find Farah, Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia, and Thomas Longosiwa of Kenya sprinting past them like they were standing still. Farah held the lead by a hair but looked like he didn’t have enough in the tank. Coming down the home stretch, Farah, fueled by the British crowd, was unrelenting. He took his second gold medal in 13:41.66, 0.3 seconds ahead of his closest competitor. His face looked crazed as he threw himself across the finish line. Gebremeskel and Longosiwa each followed less than a full second behind Farah.
Lagat was America’s closest shot at a medal, finishing in fifth at 13:42.99. He and Rupp, seventh, ran great races for America even if they didn’t garner a medal. Farah, on the other hand, becomes only the fifth man in history to win a double in the 5,000m and 10,000m at the Olympic Games. He said with twin girls on the way, he had to win a gold for each of them.
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(Image courtesy of NBC)