MOSCOW: Briton Mohamed Farah was pushed all the way in an ultimately well-executed victory in the men’s 10,000m at the world championships on Saturday to carry on where he left off at last year’s London Olympics.
The Somali-born 30-year-old clocked 27min 21.72sec in his first outing since his victory in the British capital over the 25-lap race, the longest around the track in athletics’ biennial showpiece.
Ibrahim Jeilan of Ethiopia, who outsprinted Farah for the title in Daegu, won silver in 27:22.23, with early pace-setting Kenyan Paul Tanui taking bronze (27:22.61).
Farah had become one of the faces of the London Games after he claimed double gold in the 5,000 and 10,000m, a year after sealing a gold and silver in the Daegu worlds in the events respectively.
He came to Moscow in prime form having opted to step down his distances in competitive meets to hone his speed, sealing an unlikely European record in the 1500m in Monaco, his time of 3:28.81 credited as the sixth-fastest ever run.
Tanui took up the early running, with Farah happy to sit 30 metres away at the back of the peloton for the opening laps.
After six laps, Farah floated effortlessly to the front of the pack, quickly overtaken by Ethiopians Abera Kuma and Imane Merga — fifth and third in Daegu two years ago, and then Tanui and his teammate Kenneth Kipkemoi.
Halfway through the race, Farah again made a move up the field and with eight laps to go, he was sat in second with Tanui and Kuma still shouldering the pace-setting work.
Like a good ‘domestique’ in the world of cycling, Galen Rupp, Farah’s training partner under Alberto Salazar in Portland, Oregon, and silver medallist at the London Games, moved into second.
Farah slid gratefully into his slipstream as the leading pack bunched in anticipation of an accelerating burst from someone in the field.
KIPLAGAT MAKES HISTORY
Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat became the first woman to retain the marathon world title when she eased home on Saturday to earn the first gold medal on the opening day of the World Athletics Championships.
The 33-year-old — only 20th in the Olympics last year — timed 2hr 25min 44sec to take gold ahead of long-time leader Valeria Straneo of Italy (2:25.58) while Japan’s Kayoko Fukushi took bronze (2:27.45). Olympic champion Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia never featured on her return to competition after being knocked over by a wheelchair competitor during this year’s London Marathon.
Straneo, whose career took an upward turn after having her spleen and gall bladder removed in 2010, set the pace from the off but was closely watched by the pursuing pack of 11.