Global gold number eight for Farah who successfully defends title in Rio, while Jeff Henderson wins long jump and Greg Rutherford bags bronze
Mo Farah retained his Olympic 10,000m title after a storming run which saw him get gold despite a mid-race fall.
Clocking 27:05.17 on the second evening of athletics action in Rio, the Briton beat Kenya’s Paul Tanui and Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola to ensure that his aims for another distance double remain on track.
Gaining his eighth global gold after his five world titles and London 2012 Olympic double, Farah always seemed in control, except during the split second he was on the ground.
The Briton was clipped at around 4000m, seemingly by fellow Alberto Salazar-coached athlete Galen Rupp, but after his fall he was quickly back on his feet, gave a thumbs up and was back in the race.
“When I fell down, I was thinking ‘try and get up as fast as I can’ and I was thinking ‘don’t panic, don’t panic’,” he said. “There were still lots of laps left so I just tried to get back into my rhythm as quickly as possible.
“As each lap went down I was getting more confidence, confidence, confidence,” he added. “I knew Tanui well but I didn’t know the Ethiopian guys so was thinking ‘what can they do’ and tried and to make sure I had something for the end.”
Tola led through halfway in 13:53.11 and with the pace picking up, the second 3000m was timed at 8:06 compared to a first 3km of 8:30. It was the fastest ever last 5000m in an Olympic 10,000m, just edging the 13:12.12 from 1996.
Unleashing his killer kick, Farah surged ahead down the home straight, leaving Tanui, who won the Kenyan trials and has twice won world bronze, behind to clock 27:05.64 as Tola followed in 27:06.26.
Tola had taken on much of the pace with his fellow Ethiopian Yigrem Demelash, who finished fourth in 27:06.27, while Rupp, who is also racing the marathon next weekend, was fifth in 27:08.92 and Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor, who was considered by many to be one of Farah’s main challengers, was back in 11th with 27:31.94.
Finishing further down the field were Farah’s fellow Britons Andy Vernon and Ross Millington who placed 25th and 31st with respective times of 28:19.36 and 29:14.95.
Farah wasn’t the only Briton in a title defence and just like on ‘Super Saturday’ in London four years ago, while Farah was running Greg Rutherford was in action in the long jump final and Jessica Ennis-Hill was contesting the heptathlon javelin.
While Rutherford was just two centimetres off his golden 2012 performance, this time 8.29m bagged him the bronze as a rollercoaster competition saw him beaten by Jeff Henderson of USA and South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga.
Henderson saved his best until last and launched himself into the lead with 8.38m to take the title. Although it looked like his team-mate Jarrion Lawson might have soared out to a winning mark on the last jump of the competition, he was denied by a hand in the sand.
Manyonga’s 8.37m PB secured him the silver as Lawson placed fourth with 8.25m.
“Ultimately I didn’t jump long enough today,” said Rutherford, “and that’s very difficult for me to take. But it’s great that myself, Jess and Mo can still win medals on the same night four years after London 2012, so hopefully this can still be classed as another Super Saturday.”
Earlier on and defending champion Kirani James had made a statement with 44.02 in the first 400m semi-final ahead of LaShawn Merritt’s 44.21. The winning time is the second-fastest ever semi-final time at the Olympic Games and the 12th fastest overall. Machel Cedenio won the second heat in 44.39 from Wayde van Niekerk’s 44.45, while the third heat saw victory for Bralon Taplin with 44.44.
Behind Taplin, Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith had a storming run to clinch the runner-up spot on the line and clock a 44.48 PB to move from 13th to No.6 on the UK all-time list. With that time, Hudson-Smith leapfrogs athletes including Jamie Baulch, Derek Redmond and Du’aine Ladejo in the British all-time rankings.
Casualties from the 400m semi-finals included 2012 silver medallist Luguelín Santos, two-time world indoor champ Pavel Maslak and 43.72 man Isaac Makwala.
Meanwhile, defending champion and world record-holder David Rudisha cruised through to the 800m final, winning the third and last semi-final in 1:43.88. Frenchman Pierre-Ambroise Bosse went quickest overall with 1:43.85, while Britain’s Michael Rimmer, underpar after illness on the eve of the race, was among those to miss out, as were Adam Kszczot, Mark English and Amel Tuka.
World champion Shawn Barber, defending Olympic champ Renaud Lavillenie and home favourite Thiago Braz da Silva were among those to advance to the pole vault final, while Britain’s Luke Cutts was among those to see his competition end at the qualifying stage.
» Further coverage of the second day of athletics action, including Jessica Ennis-Hill’s heptathlon silver, can be found here