Sunday August 6, 2017
Mo Farah says he will overcome a leg injury to defend his 5,000m world title after winning the “toughest race” of his life to retain his 10,000m crown.
The Briton, 34, was tripped and almost fell twice late on as he won the first medal of the 2017 World Championships in thrilling fashion at London Stadium.
“I hurt my leg and I’m going to see a doctor, a few stitches maybe,” he said.
The 5,000m, which begins with heats on Wednesday, is Farah’s final major track event before switching to the marathon.
“I’ve got a bad leg,” he explained. “I’ve got such a long stride I got caught twice and at that point I was just trying to stand up.
“I am hurt. I just had to be strong. I’ve got a few cuts and bruises, just recover and get ready for the 5k. I’ve got enough days.”
‘This is tough, this is tough’
A relentless pace meant his time of 26 minutes 49.51 seconds on Friday was his quickest over 10,000m since 2011, yet it put him less than half a second ahead of Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, with Kenya’s Paul Tanui third.
BBC commentators Steve Cram and Brendan Foster believe the win – Farah’s 10th global title – required the finest display of his career and Farah, who has now won six world titles over the two distances, said he “definitely agreed with them”.
“It was one of the toughest races of my life,” said Farah. “The guys gave it to me, it wasn’t about Mo, it was about ‘how do we beat Mo?’
“You had the Kenyans, the Ethiopians, the Ugandans, everybody working as a team against me. Fair play to them, they worked it hard and they chucked everything at me.
“At one point in the middle of the race I wasn’t thinking I was going to lose, but I thought ‘this is tough, this is tough’.”
‘I owe it to the people’
Farah has not been beaten over 10,000m since 2011 – a run of nine races.
He completed the 5,000m and 10,000m double at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships and also secured long-distance doubles at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.
“It was about believing in my sprint finish and knowing that I have been in that position before,” he added. “It helped a lot having that experience.
“I just had to stay strong, believe in myself and think, ‘I didn’t work for nothing, I’m not losing in my home town. I can’t’.
“I get emotional talking about it, but I owe it to the people in London, I owe it to the people in Great Britain and to have so many people supporting you, keeping you going, it makes the difference.”