London 2012 Athletics: Farah holds off Rupp, Bekeles for memorable gold
Aug 4, 2012, London (NDTV Sports): Mo Farah produced a final-lap sprint to win a memorable gold in the men’s Olympic 10,000m on Saturday that denied Ethiopian running legend Kenenisa Bekele a hat-trick of titles in the event.
The Somali-born Farah, who moved to Britain at the age of eight, timed 27min 30.42sec, with American training partner Galen Rupp taking silver in 27:30.90, and Ethiopian Tariku Bekele claiming bronze in 27:31.43.
Tariku’s brother and defending champion Kenenisa finished fourth (27:32.44), unable to come up with a kick to match that of Farah, the reigning world silver medallist in the distance.
It was Britain’s third gold of the night in front of a packed home crowd in the Olympic Stadium, after Jessica Ennis won the heptathlon and Greg Rutherford took a surprise long jump title.
A tearful Farah was greeted on the track by his daughter Rhianna and seven-month pregnant wife Tania as the crowd went crazy.
From the gun, Kenenisa Bekele raced straight to the front of the pack, Farah keen on his tail.
Kenyans Wilson Kiprop and former African junior champion Moses Masai, who placed fourth in the Athens Games in 2004, took up the running.
With 19 laps to go, Eritrea’s former world cross-country champion Zersenay Tadese split the field open when he upped the pace to a punishing level for five laps.
The Bekele brothers and the second Eritrean in the field, Teklemariam Medhin, stuck close as Tadese notched up a succession of 1min 4sec laps.
At the halfway point, Kenyan Bedan Karoki Muchiri had taken up the running as Tadese momentarily flagged.
Kiprop dropped out with eight laps to go as his teammates Muchiri and Masai controlled the pace, Farah’s training partner Galen Rupp moving up on their shoulder.
A compact leading peloton hit the line with 2km to go bristling for position, Farah running alongside Rupp behind Bekele and Muchiri.
In a tactical team move, Gebregziabher Gebremariam shot to the front with four laps remaining but ddid not have the steam to continue for long in front of the sell-out 80,000-capacity Olympic Stadium.
Farah hit the front at the bell to roars from the crowd and immediately bolted, taking Muchiri, the Bekeles and Rupp with him.
As he entered the home stretch to deafening noise, Farah had enough to hold off Rupp and cap a remarkable night for Britain.
Kenenisa Bekele, who has slowly been coming back to form after spending two years battling a calf injury, came in a dejected figure in fourth.
Farah’s gold was Britain’s first ever in the 10,000m and the first medal of any kind over the distance since Mike McLeod’s silver in the Los Angeles Games in 1984.
Rupp’s silver was the US team’s first since Billy Mills’ victory in the 1964 Games in Tokyo.
|5||2313||MUCHIRI Bedan Karoki||27:32.94||+|
|9||3073||ARIKAN Polat Kemboi||27:38.81||PB||+|
|10||3114||KIPSIRO Moses Ndiema||27:39.22||+|
|12||2311||MASAI Moses Ndiema||27:41.34||+|