Mo Farah completes long distance double on World Athletics day eight
Mo Farah matched Kenenisa Bekele’s record of five men’s long-distance Gold medals at the World Athletics Championships by completing a successful defence of the 5k and 10k double.
Day eight of the 2015 edition from Beijing’s Bird’s Nest saw Team GB athlete Farah exorcise disappointment demons of his previous visit to this stadium at the 2008 Olympics, by following up his earlier 10000m triumph with a third consecutive global 5000m crown.
Kenya’s Caleb Ndiku tried to out-kick Farah in the closing stages of the race, but went too early allowing the British representative to sprint for glory in the home straight.
Ndiku had to settle for Silver, while wily and lightly-raced Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet bagged Bronze, but slips a place on the podium from the Moscow championships of 2013. Farah also has as many World Championships Gold medals as greatest-ever female distance athlete Tirunesh Dibaba.
European champion Marina Arzamasova pulled off a major shock to follow up with the world 800m title, leaving previous winner Eunice Jepkoech Sum to rue letting the Belarus runner through on the back straight. Arzamasova won a sprint finish in 1:58.04, while Canada’s Melissa Bishop scooped Silver ahead of strong pre-event favourite Sum.
Russian youngster Maria Kuchina put the best card together to become new world women’s high jump champion, edging London Olympics winner Blanka Vlasic and compatriot Anna Chicherova, who once again had to settle for a Bronze. These elite ladies all got over 2m 1cm, so the medals were decided on which heights they had failures at.
There were no such surprises in the Decathlon, however, with the USA’s Ashton Eaton successfully defending his title, setting a new world record score of 9045 points ahead of Commonwealth and Pan American games champ Damian Warner.
Rico Freimuth beat Russia’s Ilya Shkurenev and Larbi Bourrada of Algeria, plus German teammates Kai Kazmirek and Michael Schrader to Bronze.
Piotr Malachowski finally tasted men’s discus Gold with rival Robert Harting injured. The Polish thrower’s best effort of 67m 40cm proved more than enough to take the title, although there was a surprise Silver medal for Philip Milanov representing Belgium. Robert Urbanek ensured Poland had two athletes on the podium, bettering Gerd Kanter for Bronze
Jamaica continued their dominance of the sprint relays with their men and women winning 4x100m Golds. Respective 100m champions Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce brought their country home in 37.37 and 41.07 seconds respectively.
The American men made a terrible start and sloppy changeovers that resulted in disqualification, while Team GB finished out of the medals across the sexes with their males failing to finish. China and Canada completed the podium places, while for women the United States and Trinidad and Tobago took the other medals.
Earlier in the day, the 4x400m relay heats took place with the USA the most impressive. Odds-on at 1/3 for ladies’ Gold and shorter at 1/5 for the men, Jamaica have some ground to make up on their eternal sprint rivals.
The Caribbean country are 12/5 to see their women take top honours and as long as 8/1 for their males.