IAAF World Championships 2017

Farah's distance double in jeopardy

Mo Farah stumbling in the final leg of his 10,000m race. Later, he sported a bandage on his left leg, but insisted he would be fit to defend his 5,000m crown this week.
Mo Farah stumbling in the final leg of his 10,000m race. Later, he sported a bandage on his left leg, but insisted he would be fit to defend his 5,000m crown this week.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Briton wins 10,000m, but requires medical treatment after being spiked twice in final lap

LONDON • Mo Farah's hopes of winning his third successive world championship distance double could be in jeopardy, after requiring medical treatment following Friday's epic victory in the 10,000m.

The 34-year-old British great won despite being spiked twice in the final lap - the first saw him almost come to grief and fall into the infield - and which resulted in blood pouring from his left calf.

He won in 26min 49.51sec - the fastest time in the world this year - and his fastest in six years. Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda was second in 26:49.94 with Paul Tanui of Kenya third in 26:50.60.

The Somalia-born runner, who had racked up two Olympic and world doubles as well as the 2011 5,000m world crown before Friday's victory, tried to shrug off the battering he had taken.

But he still curtailed media commitments so he could be attended to by medical staff.

Afterwards, he was sporting a bandage on his left leg but insisted he would be fit to defend his 5,000m crown this week. The heats start on Wednesday, with the final on Saturday.

"I am hurt, I just have to be strong now and see the doctors," said Farah. "I've got a few cuts and bruises, perhaps I will need a few stitches.

"I need to recover and get ready but I've got enough days."

Farah also rejected notions that the spiking was deliberate.

"I've got such a long stride I don't blame anyone," he said.

"I recalled how I went down in Rio (in the 10,000m after which he got up to win).

"I got caught twice and I was thinking, 'I can't go down, I can't go down'."

Farah, whose association with controversial coach Alberto Salazar has been a source of disquiet, admitted the "surging" tactics used by primarily the Kenyans and Ugandans - upping the pace then reducing it so he could not get into his rhythm - had forced him to dig deep.

"It was one of the toughest races in my life, but it was also my greatest performance ever," said Farah.

"The guys gave it to me, it was like 'How do we beat Mo?' again.

"You had the Ethiopians, the Kenyans, the Ugandans; they worked as a team together against me.

"I just had to stay strong, I was just thinking that I can't lose in my home town."

The Briton, who won in the same stadium where he claimed Olympic gold in 2012 and is yet to be beaten there, added that his confidence grew after he weathered the earlier storm in the 10,000m race.

"At some point in the middle of the race I didn't think I was going to lose, but I thought, 'This is tough'," he said.

Farah, who will focus on road racing after he has run in two Diamond League meets - in Birmingham and Zurich - following the championships, ran to his family after he had won.

He pulled the five of them - his wife Tania and four children - from the crowd. They then joined him on his lap of honour.

"That was a special moment for me," he said. "I miss spending time with them. To have my family on the track is very special."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS Day 3 
Singtel TV Ch116 & StarHub Ch210, 4.50pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 06, 2017, with the headline 'Farah's distance double in jeopardy'. Print Edition | Subscribe