Farah denied fairytale ending in 5,000m

From ESPN - August 12, 2017

LONDON STADIUM -- Even Mo Farah could not buck the trend.

This will be the World Championships that will be remembered for swiping aside fairy-tale endings, throwing any sporting romanticism into the abyss and laughing at those who came in hope of one glorious farewell to athletes who have transcended track and field.

Usain Bolt was the first to taste the bitter pill of defeat, losing the 100-meter final to arch-rival Justin Gatlin in what was supposed to be the swansong for the king of sprinting.

But then came Mo Farah in the 5,000 metres, back on the track where he made his name, in front of the crowd who adore him, where he won a gold medal on the opening night of these championships and in a discipline he has left his own indelible, remarkable stamp on. Surely he would be the one to be granted a golden farewell, but Muktar Edris of Ethiopia, the fastest man in the world this year over this distance, had other plans. In a thrilling sprint finish, he finished 0.43 seconds ahead of the man who seemed to be unbeatable.

At the start of the race, Farah was cheered to the rafters, but there was a stony focus in those normally gleeful eyes as he acknowledged the support. It looked to be a typical Farah performance where he ran at his own tempo, ignoring the marauding Patrick Tiernan when the Australian broke away with too far to go, and then went to the front.

He vied with Yomif Kejelcha until kicking in the final 300 metres, but this time it was not going to end with him left on his own, crossing the line, arms spread wide. Instead it was Edris who got there first, and Farah fell to the ground, curled up and panting heavily, as the cheers still continued to ring around this stadium he knows so well.

It was a moment where eventually the emotion got to him; carrying the weight of British sport on your shoulders must be exhausting. But as he rose from a position so near to where he collapsed in celebration five years ago, the smile returned, a little more weary than usual.

"I gave 110%, there was nothing more I could have done," Farah said. Those in the stadium were still proud of their hero, recognising what he has done for British sport and the legacy he leaves behind. A montage of his greatest moments played on the stadium's screens as Edris began his lap of honour.


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