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Farah claims historic Olympic distance double

ESPN staff
August 11, 2012 « London Olympics 2012 LIVE! | Chartbeat test »
Mo Farah added 5000m gold to his 10,000m triumph © Getty Images
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Mo Farah became only the seventh man to complete a 5000m and 10,000m Olympic double at the same Games after prevailing in a thriller over the longer distance at London 2012.

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The Somali-born Londoner lit up the Games with a stunning victory in the 10,000m last weekend, and he returned to the scene of his triumph by bringing the 80,000-strong crowd inside the Olympic Stadium to its feet with a storming finish in the 12-and-a-half lap format, winning in 13:41.66.

Farah spoke of battling fatigue prior to Saturday's final and said he felt as though there was "a target" on his back. The opening moments of the race suggested his rivals were happy to set an alarmingly slow pace in an attempt to nullify the threat of the Brit.

After a pedestrian first 2km, the Ethiopian contingent picked things up with five laps to go, stretching the field the more they increased the pace. Farah, who had slowly worked his way up from the back of the field, positioned himself at the front as they approached the bell.

With the battle for the lead still being hotly contested, a determined Farah put his foot down to repel the advances of those around him, finding an extra gear down the back straight to hold off a surging Dejen Gebremeskel and write his name into the history books.

Farah, who ran 52.9s for the final lap, told BBC Sport: "It's just unbelievable. I had a lot of confidence going into the race. In the heat I didn't feel so good. I knew I just had to hold on and got great support from the crowd."

Great Britain missed out on a medal in the women's 4x400m relay, finishing in fifth place. The United States quartet of Deedee Trotter, Allyson Felix, Francena McCorory and Sanya Richards-Ross crossed the line more than three seconds ahead of second-placed Russia, with Jamaica clinching bronze.

Caster Semenya failed to land gold in the women's 800m, leaving her charge too late as Russia's Mariya Savinova added the Olympic title to her World Championships crown. Semenya qualified fastest for the final but never looked like challenging until a late burst down the back straight, which ultimately was only good enough for silver.

Defending champion Pamela Jelimo of Kenya broke clear with 300m to go, but Savinova had plenty left in the tank and easily ran her down to cross first in 1:56.19. Semenya moved into second place in the closing stages, with Russia's Ekaterina Poistogova claiming bronze.

Anna Chicherova went two better than she did in Beijing to win the women's high jump. The world champion, who claimed bronze four years ago, was the only competitor to clear 2.05m. Brigetta Barrett of the USA and Russia's Svetlana Shkolina won silver and bronze respectively, setting personal bests in the process.

Russia's Sergey Kirdyapkin posted a new Olympic record to win the men's 50km walk, surging clear in the final 10km to win in 3:35.59, while compatriot Elena Lashmanova won the women's 20km walk in new world and Olympic records (1:25.02).

And Trinidad and Tobago's Keshorn Walcott caused a shock, throwing a new national record of 84.58m to win the men's javelin ahead of Ukraine's Oleksandr Pyatnytsya.

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