MOSCOW (Reuters) - Briton Mo Farah added the world distance double to the one he achieved at the London Olympics when he bravely held off the Ethiopian and Kenyan challenge in belligerent style to win the 5,000 meters on Friday.
He needed all of his famed final-lap speed to come home in 13:26.98, ahead of Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet (13:27.26) and Kenyan Isiah Kiplangat Koech (13:27.26), six days after winning the 10,000 meters in Moscow.
Farah, defending his title from Daegu, became the only man apart from the peerless Kenenisa Bekele to hold the Olympic and world championship distance double simultaneously.
“The double was definitely tougher than the Olympic one, because last year nobody knew what I was capable of,” said Farah, who revealed he had overcome a mid-race stitch.
“Of course I felt tired after the 10,000m. I wanted to run as easy as possible today. I thought the Kenyans would work as a team and might want to box me in, but it didn’t happen. I was able to go in front and control the race.
“I know I have a fast time in the 1,500m, so I was confident about my finish.”
In a final of muddling and erratic pace, the trio of Ethiopians and Kenyans did their best to disrupt the Briton with team tactics but Farah, towards the back early on, went to the front with three laps to go.
With his principal rivals for gold, all with fresher legs after not running in the 10,000, queuing up to pass at the bell, Farah gritted his teeth, pumped his arms faster and refused to yield.
Koech appeared the main danger around the final bend but did not have the legs to get past as Farah held him at bay all the way to the line and Gebrhiwet’s late burst snatched silver by one thousandth of a second.
Editing by Ed Osmond and Alison Wildey