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Mo Farah completes world championship double

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Mo Farah was acclaimed as the greatest British athlete of all time after his latest gold medal performance. Days after winning the 10,000 metres at the world championships in Moscow, Farah successfully defended the 5,000 metre title he had won at Daegu. By winning the double in the distance races, Farah emulated his Olympic feat at London a year before.

This was a tougher and more impressive victory than the 10,000 metres. Farah kicked for home earlier than normal, 600 metres out. In the final lap, his Kenyan and Ethiopian rivals were massing ominously on his shoulder, but Farah refused to let them past, cranking up the pace round the final bends to secure gold.

We have come to expect feats of brilliance from Farah, but there must be doubts about how long he can maintain this level of competitive supremacy. "I never thought in my career I would achieve something like this," he said. "This was very tough – it was all left to the last two laps and I had a lot of pressure. It was hard this year, harder than last year."

The tactics of his opponents helped Farah. After his run in the longer race, it would have made sense for them to set a stronger pace from the outset. Instead they left it to a sprint in the final stages, where Farah excels.

"My legs felt all right but they were a lot more heavy than the rest of the guys," Farah said. "I thought the race would have been harder but it instead suited me. I also had a stitch from about eight laps to go and I was pushing my stomach in but then the pace slowed and I tried to forget about it and come through."

Steve Cram wanted to wait until Farah's career ended before estimating his worth. "There are loads of great distance runners – Nurmi, Zatopek, Gebreselassie – that Mo can be mentioned with," Cram said, "but let's wait until he's finished and then we'll go down the pub, have a beer and argue about it."

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