Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) took his career tally to four world titles as the 32 year old won British Athletics’ first gold medal in the 10,000m at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China.
It was business as usual for Farah who showed his composure despite being tripped in twice in the last few laps, to claim victory in a new stadium record of 27:01.13. The six-time global gold medallist just edged out Kenya’s Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor and will now be targeting an unpresented double at consecutive championships with the first round of the 5,000m taking place on Wednesday.
An elated Farah said afterwards: “I knew the pace was going to get faster and faster so it was important if they were running 63 or 62s (second laps) you can’t stop for water. But earlier before the pace picked up, I stopped for water and poured it over my head and then from there I just stay relaxed and calm. The last lap that was close – I honestly thought at one point I was gone because I stumbled.
“For sure (the hardest race) – the Olympics were pretty tough because of the pressure and being at home, but at the same time it was never that quick.
“I genuinely enjoy running and I love what I do. For me it’s great to win here tonight and back it up year after year.”
It was also an impressive first day for Jessica Ennis-Hill (Toni Minichiello) and Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes) in the women’s heptathlon with the duo occupying the top two spots going into the final day tomorrow.
Ennis-Hill scored a total of 4005 points as a result courtesy of a strong series, which included 12.91 in the 100m hurdles and a season’s best of 1.86m in the high jump. It promises to be an exciting final three events with Johnson-Thompson just 80 points behind.
The European Indoor pentathlon champion set a new lifetime best of 13.37 in the hurdles and 1.89m in the high jump, but will be wary of Holland’s Nadine Visser and Canada’s world bronze medallist Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who remain in touching distance.
Ennis-Hill said: “I’m really happy after the first day. I think I had some solid performances, nothing amazing so I’m pretty happy with it to be honest.
“I’ve got a weird feeling of slight disappointment because I just feel I could be better but I know that’s just going to take time and it’s not going to happen this year. I’m really satisfied and surprised that I’m first after four events. Brianne (Theisen-Eaton) has been brilliant all year, as has Kat (Johnson-Thompson), so it’s a really good position to be in.”
A reflective Johnson-Thompson added: “The day has been very up and down for me as you can imagine. The hurdles PB – which I didn’t know what sort of shape I’d be in because last time I ran I got 13.70, which is a time I last got when I was under 20s age group. I’m very happy to get a hurdles personal best.
“In the high jump I was definitely shaking, it was emotional. It was lack of competition practise really because I haven’t done high jump since Prague (European Indoors) and I just didn’t know what I was doing on the runway but I’m happy to get that. I was thinking I have been fighting all season to be fit and make this and I just kept thinking I didn’t want it to end that way.”
In the men’s 100m, Chijindu Ujah (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) was the only athlete to secure automatic qualification from the British camp finishing second in his heat in 10.05. Richard Kilty will join his compatriot in the semi-final going through as a fastest loser with a time of 10.12, but there was disappointment for James Dasaolu (Steve Fudge), who missed out by one-hundredth of a second.
“It was sluggish but I’m just glad to make it through. I realised I was in a comfortable position towards the end. Coming back tomorrow I’ve just got to sharpen up my start and run through the line,” Ujah explained after his first round exertions.
And in the field Steve Lewis (Dan Pfaff) exited the pole vault competition with a best clearance of 5.40m.
Medals for British Athletics at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing, China
Gold – men’s 10,000m – Mo Farah