Double Olympic champion Mo Farah created history once again in Moscow as he became the first British man to win a 10,000m world title.
By Aimee Lewis
BBC Sport in Moscow
Sunday, August 11, 2013
A year on from winning the 10,000m and 5,000m in London, the 30-year-old moved a step closer to repeating his Olympic feat in the Russian capital.
The Londoner saw off 2011 champion Ibrahim Jeilan in a thrilling sprint finish, crossing the line in 27 minutes and 21.71 seconds.
Ethiopia's Jeilan (27:22.23) had to settle for silver, just as Farah did at the World Championships two years ago, while Paul Tanui (27:22.61) secured bronze for Kenya.
Farah's victory brought the Great Britain team their first medal of the World Championships on the opening day.
"I had the experience from two years ago," Farah told BBC Sport.
"I knew I just had to cover every move and the guys were going to go out there to take a lot out of me. I was just digging in, digging in. It was nice to come out here and win it.
"Training has been really hard; I've spent a lot of time away from my family and when I came home for the Anniversary Games, my little daughter didn't even recognise me. But it's definitely been worth it."
There had been talk of the Ethiopians and Kenyans ganging up on Britain's sole representative, but they failed to test Farah's endurance in stifling conditions as the first half of the race was completed at a comfortable tempo.
Farah had said that he would be confident of victory were he one of the first three athletes at the bell.
In fact, he was leading the pack approaching the final 400m - although the presence of Jeilan making a late surge down the home straight brought back memories of Daegu, when the Olympic champion was overtaken by the Ethiopian in the final 150 metres.
Farah proved the stronger down the finishing straight this time, raising his arms in victory as he crossed the line, although it did not spark the riotous cheers of 12 months ago in a sparsely populated Luzhniki Stadium.
An exhausted Farah then fell to the track, sucking in the oxygen after a 54.49-second last lap, but he will not care about that as he stands on the verge of joining the greats.
Only three years ago, Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie - the man widely regarded as the greatest distance runner of them all - told Farah he had little chance of breaking Africa's grip in the long-distance events.
His boyhood hero's words might have been tougher to take than those endless lung-busting sessions in his training base in Oregon.
But since his exchange with the former Olympic and world champion, Farah has gone on to become Britain's greatest ever distance runner and the finest in the world right now.
The Briton now owns the Olympic and world 10,000m titles, and by the end of these championships he could have matched the feat of Gebrselassie's compatriot Kenenisa Bekele, the only man to win double gold in the men's distance events at both the Olympics and World Championships.
Farah will start the defence of his 5,000m title on Tuesday when he lines up in the heats.
Reaching Friday's final should be a matter of routine and then another piece of history will loom still closer.