- Associated Press
Saturday, August 11, 2012

LONDON — Mo Farah didn’t want to leave anybody in doubt.

Roared on again by a boisterous, capacity crowd at the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium, Farah surged ahead late and held on Saturday to complete a long-distance double by winning the 5,000 meters in 13 minutes, 41.66 seconds.

He still had the energy to do a few playful sit-ups on the track before he grabbed a British flag for the real celebrations.

The Somali-born Farah won the 10,000 meters on Britain’s “Super Saturday” last weekend, the same night Jessica Ennis won the heptathlon and Greg Rutherford the long jump.

This Saturday, it was entirely Mo’s moment. Almost nobody left the stadium until Farah was presented with his gold medal and the British anthem echoed around Olympic Park again.

“It’s unbelievable,” the 29-year-old Farah said. “Two gold medals, who would have thought that?”

He didn’t need the sit-ups to prove himself. He didn’t let the pressure of the home country’s great expectations hamper him in the 10,000, and he didn’t let the tactical plans of the Ethiopian runners hinder him in the 5,000, either.

Farah took the lead with 700 meters to go, staved off all challenges and, riding constant screams of encouragement, swept away on the home straight. He crossed the finish line with his arms up in triumph, then slapped his bald head and dropped to his knees.

Dejen Gebremeskel finished strongly to earn silver for Ethiopia in 13:41.98, and Thomas Longosiwa of Kenya took bronze in 13:42.36.

After his little demonstration of situps, Farah grabbed a Union Jack and took off for a victory lap.

He found his wife, Tania, who is pregnant with twins, and daughter Rhianna in the crowd lining the home stretch and hugged them.

“These two medals are for my two girls who aren’t born yet,” he said. “My twins are coming. They could arrive any day and the doctors told us they could arrive any time in the next 12 days. It’s amazing!”

Farah, who was born in Somalia and arrived in Britain when he was 8, gave plenty of thanks.

“I want to thank everyone who has supported me, all my coaches from the past, all the people who have been part of my life, particularly my wife,” he said. “Her carrying twins, it hasn’t been easy. It’s been a long journey of grafting and grafting.”

He was the seventh man to win both the 5,000 and 10,000 titles at a single Olympics, the first from Britain. He was also the first man to win the Olympic 5,000 title as the reigning world champion.

With such crowd support for Farah, the other runners barely stood a chance.

“The crowd helped him. He ran 100 percent and they added another 10,” said American runner Bernard Lagat, who finished fourth. “Everybody knew he was the favorite. I knew it. All 15 runners knew it. We were going to run against the favorite guy, he was the greatest of all.”

U.S. runner Galen Rupp trains with Farah and finished second to him in the 10,000. He had a charge at the lead late in the 5,000 but faded to finish seventh, watching as his friend crossed the line first.

“Mo, he’s great. Obviously a lot of pressure on him,” Rupp said. “He’s so well-equipped to deal with that. His personality is so laid back. I’m thrilled for him. It really couldn’t happen to a better person.”

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