Who said repeat viewings get boring? Not for Mo Farah, who completed another glorious 5,000m and 10,000m double – and won his seventh consecutive world and Olympic title – after chasing down the Kenyan Caleb Ndiku in a thrilling final lap chase.
It means Farah has completed a historic triple-double – having also won the 5,000m and 10,000m double at the 2012 Olympics and 2013 world championships, and having already won the 10,000m title in Beijing.
“It is great to make history,” Farah told the BBC trackside. “I didn’t feel great, my hamstring was playing up a bit but the medical team helped me through it and to make a double means so much to me. I was getting nervous for the first time in a little while but thanks to all the medical team. It was amazing to do it.”
On being called the greatest British sportsman by the commentator Brendan Foster, Farah said: “We had people such as David Beckham and the rest of the guys, we have had so many legends and to be in the same category as them is amazing. If you believe in something you can get there. Do what you can.
“I never doubt myself. I love the sport, I love what I do and I just want to continue that. Everything comes with obstacles and you just have to get them out of the way.”
Usually Farah’s rivals let a championship middle-distance race turn into a prolonged sprint. Not this time. After a painfully slow mile, during which Farah was content to sit right at the back as his team-mate Tom Farrell jogged away at the front of the pack, the race began to smoulder until with 800m to go it burst into life. It was at that point that Ndiku decided to overtake Farah and go for broke. The 22-year-old Kenyan, who has run 3:29.50 for 1,500m and won the 5,000m Commonwealth Games title last year, drove the pace hard and established a lead of two or three metres over Farah, who tracked him like a hunter.
And as they came round the last bend, Farah blasted away from Ndiku and into history to win in 13:50.38, with Ndiku second in 13:51.75 and the Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet third in 13:50.38.
Such was Farah’s speed in the last 800m he covered it in 1:49 – only four seconds slower than David Rudisha ran in winning the men’s 800m earlier in the week. But Ndiku, who missed several months of winter training because of injury and could not train for a fortnight after hurting himself in Lausanne in July, has served notice that he has the ability and ambition to cause Farah a few sleepless nights in the years ahead. Their rematch next year at the Rio Olympics should be breathtaking.