Subscribe Today
Monday, 18 September 2017 14:45

Mo Farah wins fourth Great North Run in 60:06

By Stuart Weir
It was business as usual at the Great North Run men's half marathon with Mo Farah winning for the fourth time in a row in a time of 1:00:06. Having covered Mo Farah's last track race - 3 times (last World Championship, last track race in Britain and last-ever track race), I was at the Great North Run, I suppose, to record Mo’s first race as an ex-track runner.
 
It was not his easiest victory. Jake Robertson (New Zealand) who was second in 1:00:12, lead Mo until the last few hundred yards when Mo raced clear. Mo later admitted that with 3–4 miles to go he was hanging on.
 
Farah said afterwards: “It was an amazing race. Jake pushed the pace on and tried to get rid of me. He almost got rid of me—I wasn't going to tell him that—but he almost got rid of me with three miles to go, because I was hurting. It was a great race today. I really enjoyed it. I just had to dig deep.
Published in Roads
by Alfons Juck
 
Farah Wins His Last Track Race
ZURICH (SUI, Aug 24): Sell out (25 000) at Weltklasse and great atmosphere with dramatic fights in the first IAAF Diamond League final with a new concept. In nine of 16 DL events the winners were not World champions. The result of the day was second fastest ever women steeple, also the 200 m winning time, but the emotional result of the day was the great win by Mo Farah in his final track race. Close decisions by 0.001 in men 100 m and women 100 m hurdles. Semenya, Manyonga and Barshim are unbeaten in 2017.
 
 
Event By Event
Men
 
100m  Chijindu Ujah and Ben Youssef Meite were both timed at 9.97 but Ujah was given the verdict on the dip (difference 0.001). Justin Gatlin was fourth (10.04) with Asafa Powell seventh (10.11).
 
400m - In his first 400m since being forced to withdraw from the World Champs final, Isaac Makwala powered to a 43.95 clocking ahead of Gil Roberts (44.54). World silver medallist Steven Gardiner fell out of the blocks, got a cramp and was a non-finisher.
Published in News
Wednesday, 23 August 2017 20:01

The Finest 10,000m Ever Run

On 4 August, 2017, in the London Olympic Stadium, the 55,00o in said stadium and hundreds of million of viewers watched the finest 10,000 meters ever run.
Published in Track & Field
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
LONDON - Now, maybe more so than ever, there's a lot to be said for the USA's national collegiate system.
 
A huge heap of events here at the 16th IAAF World Championships of Track and Field have been impacted by the guys and gals who've competed for - or continue to compete for - NCAA schools (of whatever division) or their cohorts out of the NAIA ranks.
 
For perfect example: Omar McLeod of Jamaica, the Worlds (and Olympic) men's 110-meter high hurdles champion? He's a University of Arkansas man.
 
Bagrbara Spotakova, the World's women's javelin champion? She honed her craft at Minnesota. Ekaterina Stefanidi, the World's women's pole vault titlist? She's a Stanford woman.
 
Plus - of course, of course, of course - the long, long, long list of Americans who've come up through the ranks of their own nation's collegiate system.
 
Driving home the point all over again was the men's 5000-meter final, a big-big feature event on the penultimate night of these Worlds.
Published in Track & Field
By Dave Hunter (August 1s, 2017; London)
Even with the 66,000+ fans who packed London's Olympic Stadium setting new decibel records in exhorting on their beloved countryman, Muktar Edris was not to be denied as the Ethiopian did something no man has been able to do in 6 years: unleash a finishing kick strong enough to defeat the incomparable Mohammed Farah in a global championship track final. The capacity crowd - which came in droves to witness what Farah has repeatedly stated will be his final big track competition - roared during Farah's introduction and then settled back to watch what they hoped who be yet another global championship for the Brit they call Sir Mo.
 
Unlike the 10,000 meter championship race 8 days ago where the pace was spirited from the gun, the early tempo in the 5000 final was funereal. Farah and USA's Paul Chelimo - the gold and silver medalists from Rio - raced to the front at the opening gun. After a spritely circuit in 62 seconds, the Rio medalists dialed it way back with a second lap in 70, ultimately leading the bunched field of 14 through 1 kilometer in 2:48. With Edris, Kenya's Cyrus Rutto, and Great Britain's Andrew Butchart joining the leaders, the tempo actually slowed further. Continuing a dawdling pace that has historically favored Farah and his torrid finish, the entire field - packed more tightly than the Underground's Central Line at rush hour - trotted past 2 kilos in 5:48. Farah fans were not worried. They had seen this movie before.
 
Soon thereafter, Ethiopia's 17-year-old Selemon Barega moved past co-leaders Farah and Rutto to take the lead and up the pace. While the 3rd kilometer was faster - a 2:44 - it was punishing no one. Shortly after 3K, Australia's Patrick Tiernan spurted into the lead and quickly pushed out to a 7-8 meter advantage over the others. Hey, mind the gap! But they didn't. With the reigning NCAA cross country champion up front, the man who thwarted Edward Cheserek's bid for 4 consecutive XC titles still had a 10 meter lead when he split 4 kilos in 11:09.
 
With 2 laps remaining, surely the 3-time defending champion would soon impose his will upon the field. But it did not happen. Farah seemed content to let this championship race go right down to the very end. Approaching the bell, Yomif Kejelcha - yet another Ethiopian - nursed a slight lead as he was closely followed by Edris and then Farah. The medal contenders were in full flight on the backstretch. Coming around the final curve, Edris's top gear was too much for Kejelcha who started tying up as he drifted away from the curb. Farah seized the opportunity to pass Kejelcha on the inside with a move that seemed capable of lifting him to victory. But Edris was too far gone. Chelimo passed Kejelcha on the outside but couldn't catch the Brit. A jubilant Edris crossed first in 13:32.79 followed by Farah [13:33.22]. Chelimo [13:33.51] grabbed the bronze while the fading Kejelcha [13:33.51] finished out of the medals.
 
After the race, the Ethiopian victor displayed his pre-race confidence. "I was highly prepared for this race and I knew I was going to beat Mo Farah," said a resolute Edris. "After the 10,000 he was maybe tired so he did not have enough for the last kick. I was stronger," declared the new champion. "Mo has many victories but now I have one. I am the new champion for Ethiopia. That's why I did the Mobot," he said. "I have won the gold in front of his home crowd. I didn't have much support but we did it. I did the Mobot out of respect as well for him."
 
Paul Chelimo thought team tactics played a role. "I think the Ethiopians had a plan because I think Kejelcha was out there to push the pace early and try and dampen Mo Farah's kick. Edris was just waiting and waiting to see and sitting by in the last 200 meters," offered the American medalist. "In the last 50 meters I thought 'There is no way I'm coming out without a medal here.' I had to fight and dig deep to get the bronze. To go home with a medal is not bad. I'm happy with performance. It's my second championship and a medal. I'm taking over next year. 2019 - I am after that gold."
 
Following this his last championship track race, Mohammed Farah provided his account of the final. "Tactically, I was trying to cover every move. They had the game plan: one of them was going to sacrifice themselves. That's what they did tonight, and the better man won on the day. I gave it all, I didn't have a single bit left at the end," admitted one of the greatest championship racers of all time. Before departing, Farah offered some final thoughts on this the conclusion of his magnificent track career. "It's been amazing. It's been a long journey but it's been incredible. It doesn't quite sink in until you compete here and cross the line - I had a couple of minutes to myself - that this is it."
Published in Track & Field
Aug. 4, 2017, London
By Dave Hunter
 
On opening night of the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships, the rabid British track & field fans - and indeed most of the capacity crowd that packed London's Olympic Stadium - got their wish as the incomparable Mo Farah fended off a multi-national assault by a squad of African athletes and utilized a blistering finish to win his third straight world championship 10,000 meter crown.
 
After a tantalizing undercard which included the Bolt-featured opening rounds of the men's 100 meters, the restless audience was sufficiently amped for the only final of Day One, the night's closer: the men's 10,000 meter final. As the 24 distance warriors were led out onto the track behind juvenile standard bearers, the athletes walked with determination up the homestretch. All except one. Farah - who has never lost in this stadium - joyfully skipped into lane three. Almost giddy, the two-time defending champion waved his arms to exhort on his legion of adoring followers as he danced to the starting line. One thing was clear: he was ready to roll.
 
As the runners towed the line, many observers reflected on the dominant question: Would Farah's opponents allow the pace to linger, desperately clinging to an ill-advised championship strategy that had never led to a Farah defeat? Or would one or a group of his adversaries be bold enough to employ a different upbeat tactic, one inclined to push the Brit out of his comfort zone.
 
Shortly after the crack of the starting pistol, the answer was clear. It was so on. The Africans charged to the front with Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei splitting the opening 400 in 61. The crowd roared. This was going to be a bona fide, no-holds barred, 25 lap blood bath. Joining the Ugandan up front were Ethiopia's Adamlak Belihu and Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor, a long-time Farah nemesis. After an opening kilo in 2:39, the 5-time world championship gold medalist was nestled into 15th place, unfazed by the brisk early race tempo. The tri-national combine soldiered on, passing 2K in 5:25 and 3K in 8:09. As laps rolled by, it was clear that the Ethiopian athletes were the backbone of this African continent assault as Abadi Hadis and countryman Jemal Yimer joined the front-packers pushing the pace.
 
Approaching 4 kilometers, Farah gently revved the engine, easily moving from the back of the pack to join the leaders while the partisan onlookers roared their approval. A 61 second pick-up just before halfway softened up the field and strung out the racers as they sped past 5 kilos in 13:33.
 
At 6K - passed in 16:17 - the lead pack had been reduced to 15. The African combine knew they had to press on. With 8 laps remaining, Cheptegei unleashed another body blow: a 65 second circuit with another 63 second lap that followed. With 1200 meters remaining - the African plan was unshaken: Hadis was flying in the lead with Kamworor in 2nd and Paul Tanui in 3rd . Covering those moves, but still in 6th, Farah was dialed in and appeared prepared for what he knew would be a furious finish.
 
Mo Farah winning 10,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net
Coming up on 2 laps remaining, Farah - knowing it was time to go - moved up into the lead. Controlling the race now from up front, Farah took the bell followed closely by Cheptegei, Tanui, and Kenya's Bedan Muchiri - 4 superb athletes fighting for 3 medals. As the bunched quartet approached the top of the backstretch, the crowd gasped as Farah was soundly clipped from behind, nearly falling. Only Farah's ballet-like balance prevented another Rio-like fall. The tussle seemed to energize the defending champion as he sped down the backstretch. Now in full flight with fans hitting record decibel levels, Farah took one quick backward glance in the homestretch to affirm he was safe. A final stumble-filled circuit in 56 seconds sent Farah across the line in 26:49.53 for the hard-fought victory. With a final 2000 meters in a punishing 5:07, Farah rang up his fastest championship clocking and his second best 10K mark ever. While the bold African race strategy could not deny Farah his third consecutive world 10,000 meter title, the aggressive pace-setters who set up this electrifying race were rewarded as the 28-year old Cheptegei took silver [26:49.94] and Tanui [26:50.60] grabbed the bronze.
 
Later, in the press conference, the re-crowned champion - with an ice bag affixed to his left knee - was gracious with the media. "It was amazing tonight, I had to get my head around it," declared the victor. "I got a bit emotional at the start and then I just had to get in the zone." Farah dispelled any notion that the race was stress-free. "It wasn't an easy race though. It has been a long journey where I have worked very hard on long distance but also speed." Farah, whose global distance domination has spanned nearly a decade, cites his championship race experience as aiding him in his win. "I knew at 12 laps to go when they went hard from there it was going to be tough. It was about believing in my sprint finish and knowing that I have been in that position before. It helped a lot having that experience." Sir Mo did take time to summarize his view on the evening. "What a way to end my career in London. This was very special."
 
Before leaving to receive a little treatment on his tender knee and to begin preparing mentally for the defense of his 5000 meter title, the incomparable champion took a moment to address the love affair he shares with the British fans. "It makes me proud to be British. This crowd is amazing," he notes. Pressed to explain the secret to his unparalleled success in global championships, Farah is candid. "It's been hard. I guess I'm just mentally strong." It's also helpful if you just happen to be the greatest distance running track racer of all time.
Published in Track & Field