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Farah wins Gold in Daegu

Mo Farah 5000 Gold

Mo Farah 5000 Gold

On the final day of competition at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, there was a double medal swoop for the Aviva GB & NI team in a memorable night of action.

And in what can only be described as a superb few minutes for the Aviva GB & NI team this evening, Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar) won the World Championship 5000m final, and Phillips Idowu (Aston Moore) flew out to a triple jump silver medal winning distance.

It signalled a thrilling final evening of events for the team who were on five medals coming into the final sessions and ended on seven for the championship including two gold.

In the 5000m, Mo Farah banished memories of his 10,000m disappointment with an amazing display of energy conservation, only pushing to the front in the final stages and leading the closely bunched pack through the bell as they circled like vultures for the big sprint.

In a race where there was dawdling, stumbles and the first kilometre was ran at 14:10 pace, Farah was in pole position on the kerb through the one lap to go marker, and despite the multiple sprint attacks on the back straight was still holding the lead come the final 90m.

With USA’s Bernard Lagat running wide in an attempt to catch Farah with Ethiopian Imane Merga also vying for the top slot, the Brit kicked away top score a stunning victory and finally achieve that much desired global gold medal.

Afterwards, Farah said:

“It feels awesome you know, I can’t quite believe this has happened and I’ve got gold now, it just feels amazing. When you make a lot of sacrifices and you work hard, not everything goes smooth sometimes and in the 10k I was disappointed as I thought I could win the race and then in the 5,000 I was just thinking I have to work everyone out and it will come down to the finish and I just had to make sure I had something left.

“My coach had told me to relax and do not let anyone pass and mentally it’s so hard thinking about it and you always have some negative thoughts thinking about the 10k.

“There’s the pressure you put on yourself, this is something you train for everyday week in week out. We train everyday twice a day and sometimes three times a day. It’s what you want to do as an athlete, everyone wants to win that gold, you just have to work for it.”

In the men’s triple jump, it was silver for Phillips Idowu (Aston Moore) who managed to jump the best series of jumps in his career, but was simply eclipsed by a better athlete on the day in the shape of American Christian Taylor, whose fourth round 17.96m eclipsed Idowu’s lead of 17.70.

Idowu responded instantaneously but his 17.77m could not improve his position, and the 2009 champion had to settle for silver despite his best ever series of jumps and a jump that in any other World Championship would have sealed gold.

“I’ve come out here, I’ve worked hard and I’ve competed hard. I’ve put in a good series of jumps and I’ve come away with a silver. I felt like I had a lot more in me but it just wasn’t to be. Technically things were not always there but it’s been a solid season. It was a tough competition and I can’t take anything away from Christian (Taylor) – he did really well. And now on to next year,” he said.

“I jumped as far as I could today and it wasn’t enough to get that gold. I’m not disappointed. If I can come away and win a gold medal at next year’s Olympics, nobody is going to look back on these championships and think about it.”

The men’s 4x100m relay team of Christian Malcolm (Dan Pfaff), Craig Pickering (Michael Khmel), Marlon Devonish (Dan Pfaff) and Harry Aikines Aryeetey (Michael Khmel) looked set for a medal in the final of the men’s 4x100m until a mistake the final changeover between Devonish and Aikines Aryeetey saw them fail to get the baton round.

The disappointment was even more frustrating seeing that the mistake was partially caused by a collision with the USA squad with both teams tumbling out of the reckoning for medals.

The quartet had made light work of qualifying with a strong display of changeovers to win their heat in a season’s best of 38.29, but come the final as both teams eliminated each another around the final bend, the Jamaican squad ran away with Usain Bolt to take gold in a World Record 37.04 secs.

Reflecting straight after, lead leg runner Christian Malcolm said:

“It’s not good enough. No one is to blame, this isn’t about the blame game. It’s not to do with poor baton skills, it’s just unfortunate.

“It’s quite sickening to see Britain could have got silver. You can see it’s just unfortunate.  It’s the way the relay goes, it’s like that. It was an accident. “

The women’s 4x100m relay team of Tiffany Porter (James Henry), Anyika Onuora (Lloyd Cowan), Laura Turner (Linford Christie) and Jeanette Kwakye (Michael Afilaka) struggled to make an impact in the second of the three qualifying heats earlier on in the evening.

With what appeared to be a difficult first changeover between Porter and Onuora, the quartet were already on the back foot, and whilst they held it together for the next two exchanges, Kwakye was already too far back on her anchor leg to make any difference.

But the girls were determined to look forward with their new-look running order and paid tribute to the resilience of Porter who was still getting over her 100m hurdles disappointment:

“We had a really tough heat. We didn’t perform how we wanted to perform,” acknowledged Turner.

“The important thing is that we are moving on and we are going to get stronger. Tiffany did so well to come back and pick her head up and run so well today.

“It’s been a bit up and down for the sprinter girls but on the whole we need to be better next year.”

Porter responded: “This team is definitely a work in progress and it’s important for us to continue to work hard and push forward.

“You can’t dwell on the past, I can’t rerun that race, I can just use it as motivation to push me forward in the future. My teammates have been very supportive and helpful at this time and very encouraging.”

In reflecting in the championship UKA Head Coach Charles van Commenee speaking on Channel four said:

“That is one of the very best performances we’ve ever had in the history of British athletics. That sets us up with a nice platform for next year, when the target is eight, so it’s my job to find another medal.

“There’s not only been great performances. We have a good crop of athletes who could come close to medals but didn’t. I always knew at the end of these championships that we would not see the finished product.

“We always knew there would be work to be done in the next eleven months. The good thing now is I know exactly what we have to do. So I tell you it’s a positive experience all together.”

Aviva GB & NI medals

Sunday 28 August  Mo Farah  Men’s 10,000m Silver

Monday 29 August  Andy Turner  Men’s 110mH  Bronze

Tuesday 30 August   Jess Ennis  Heptathlon  Silver

Thursday 1 September Hannah England Women’s 1500m Silver

Thursday 1 September Dai Greene  Men’s 400mH  Gold

Sunday 4 September  Mo Farah  Men’s 5000m  Gold

Sunday 4 September  Phillips Idowu  Men’s Triple Jump Silver

Top 8 finishes

Monday 29 August      William Sharman             Men’s 110mH  5th

Thursday 1 September    Yamile Aldama    Women’s Triple Jump         5th

Friday 2 September  Men’s 4x400m      7th

Saturday 3 September Women’s 4 x 400m     4th

Saturday 3 September  Tiffany Porter  100mH    4th

Sunday 4 September Men’s 4x100m