Mo Farah has won the gold medal in the men's 5000 meters, becoming the first to do so on home soil, giving Great Britain its marquee moment from the Olympic track at the London Games. Farah, a week after winning the 10,000m, crossed the finish line Saturday night in 13:41.66, becoming just the seventh athlete ever to accomplish the rare double. He's also the first British runner to win gold in either of the distance events.
Ethiopia's Dejen Gebremeskel won silver, just 0.32 seconds behind Farah, and Kenya's Thomas Longosiwa took bronze.
American Bernard Lagat was fourth, missing a medal by only 0.63 seconds. Galen Rupp finished in seventh place, and Team USA's third competitor, Lopez Lomong, was 10th.
Much like the 10,000m, the race got off to a slow pace, running the first 200m in a pedestrian in 35 seconds, and the first 400m in 71 seconds. The race was so slow, in fact, it broke records -- a 2:55 opening 1000m marked the second-slowest since 1972, and the opening 2000m, run in 5:56, was the slowest since '72.
Hayle Ibrahimov of Azerbaijan began to push the pace a bit and was able to open up a slight lead after the first two laps, while Farah was last, with Galen Rupp tucked in the middle. But still, the pace remained cautious.
Then, in the span of about 30 seconds, Farah went from last to fifth. With eight laps to go, American Lopez Lomong had pulled ahead and into the lead. Finally, with about seven laps to go, the pace quickened and the athletes started jostling for postion as the racing intensified.
Ethiopia's Yenew Alamirew led the runners with five laps to go, with Gebremeskel just behind him, and it stayed that way with just three laps to go, when Farah began to make his move.
As they started the final 800m, it was still anyone's race, with all the runners in a tight bunch -- and then Farah went. From the middle, Rupp moved to the outside and caught his training partner, and ever so briefly, the pair that finished 1-2 in the 10,000m were together on the homestretch.
But that moment was fleeting, as Farah kicked with 700m left, going all out and challenging the field to pass him -- no did. As slow as the race started, they made up for it with a blistering finish -- the final 1600m was run in 3:57, and the final 1000m was covered in 2:25.20, the fastest split ever in the 5000m at the Olympics. (However, Farah's winning time was still the slowest since 1968, which gives you an idea of just how easy they they ran the first 10 laps.)
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