Mo Farah's double-double

Mo Farah's double-double

Briton adds men's 5000 title to 10000 gold; US make a sweep of 4x400 relay

Mo Farah's double-double

Mo Farah, a past master in the art of finishing races, put on show another exhibition of his unmatched skills to complete a rare double-double in distance events at the Olympic Games on Saturday.

The Briton, champion in 5000 and 10000 metres at London 2012, repeated those heroics with a measure of comfort, with his African rivals unable to solve the riddle that has befuddled them for the last six years.

Farah’s triumph in the 5000M on Saturday placed him on par with Finland’s Lasse Viren, who had done the 5000-10000 double in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games.

The 33-year-old’s feats are remarkable when you consider his doubles at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, besides his win in the 5000M at the 2011 Worlds.

On the final night of events at the Olympic Stadium, Farah wasn’t the only one in spotlight. South African Caster Semenya, whose return to form this year has reignited the gender debate, won the women’s 800M in dominant fashion while the United States swept both the 4x400M relays to assert their might as the top nation in track and field with 13 gold medals, ahead of Jamaica (6).

“It is every athlete’s dream but I can’t believe it,” Farah said after another of his trademark runs. “I have four kids and four gold medals, one for each of them.”

Farah bided his time at the back and middle of the packs while Ethiopians Hagos Gebrhewit and Dejen Gebremeskel took turns to lead the pack. They set a brisk pace at the start but still, weren’t quick enough to induce doubts in Farah’s mind.

American Paul Chelimo and Albert Rop of Bahrain also followed the leaders closely but after 3000 metres, Farah decided to make his move. He fought it out with the Ethiopians and began to pull away at the bell but Gebrhewit shadowed him closely.

Coming into the final straight, however, it was clear Farah had enough energy to ward off the Ethiopian threat.

Farah timed 13:03.30 for the gold while Chelimo (13:03.90) edged out Gebrhiwet (13:04.35) for the silver.

Semenya, unbeaten this year, extended her streak with a well-paced run. After a composed first lap, the South African stamped out the hopes of Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba with a burst of speed that put daylight between her and the rest of the field. Semenya’s time – 1:55.28 – was her personal best.

“Sport is about loving people, uniting people,” she said, referring to the issue raging around her. “It is not about discriminating people, it is not about how they look, how they run, it is not about being muscular,” she said.

“When you walk out, you think about performing, not what your opponent looks like; you just want to do better.”

In a painfully slow men’s 1500M, triple world champion Albert Kiprop of Kenya faded away as American Matthew Centrowitz celebrated success in 3:50.00, the slowest winning time since 1932. It was also the United States’ first triumph in this event since 1908.

The relays brought more joy to the United States, with their men finishing in front of Jamaica after rebuffing a strong Bahamas’ threat.

The women’s gold medal, also with a win over Jamaica, fetched Allyson Felix her sixth Olympic gold.

Germany’s Thomas Rohler put his back injury woes behind him with a huge 90.30M hurl in men’s javelin to nail the gold, beating the reigning champion as well as the world champion in the process.

Keshorn Walcott (85.38) of Trinidad and Tobago, the surprise winner in London 2012, was pushed to third, behind world champion Julius Yego (88.24) of Kenya.
Ruth Beitia of Spain, at 37, became the oldest women’s high jump champion when she sailed over 1.97 metres in a mediocre competition.

In a championship that witnessed some spectacular feats, it was one of the few low points.

Results: Men: 1500M: Matthew Centrowitz (United States) 3:50.00, 1; Taoufik Makhloufi (Algeria) 3:50.11, 2; Nicholas Willis (New Zealand) 3:50.24, 3.
5000M: Mo Farah (Great Britain) 13:03.30, 1; Paul Chelimo (Unied States) 13:03.90, 2; Hagos Gebrhiwet (Ethiopia) 13:04.35, 3.

Javelin throw: Thomas Rohler (Germany) 90.30 metres, 1; Julius Yego (Kenya) 88.24, 2; Keshorn Walcott (Trinidad and Tobago) 85.38, 3.

4x400M relay: United States 2:57.30, 1; Jamaica 2:58.16, 2; Bahamas 2:58.49, 3.
Women: 800M: Caster Semenya (South Africa) 1:55.28, 1; Francine Niyonsaba (Burundi) 1:56.49, 2; Margaret Wambui (Kenya) 1:56.89, 3.

High jump: Ruth Beitia (Spain) 1.97 metres, 1; Mirela Demireva (Bulgaria) 1.97, 2; Blanka Vlasic (Croatia) 1.97, 3.

4x400M relay: United States 3:19.06, 1; Jamaica 3:20.34, 2; Great Britain 3:25.88, 3.

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