Mo Farah shatters the European record over 2 miles but suffers defeat at the hands of seasoned campaigner Eliud Kipchoge

The eagerly anticipated for weeks British and European record over 2 miles was delivered aplenty by crowd favourite Mo Farah, who easily committed Emil Puttemans‘s (BEL) 39-year haunted mark to history at length, but some of the gloss was taken off the feat as he had to endure defeat at the hands of seasoned campaigner Eliud Kipchoge, leaving a bitter taste in his mouth.

The Kenyan former global champion (2003) is no slouch by any means, one of the most enduring top distance figures through last decade, yet is a rival that the Briton does like to beat these days as he is heading as effective favourite for Olympic glory in London.

Not that anything has necessarily changed in this respect subsequently but other top contenders might draw some confidence out of the outcome and he knows that mind games matter as well in the build-up.

The affair started in much different fashion as the world champion showed intent from the gun and got stuck into his task behind the pacemakers cruising round the track in total control of the race in every aspect, either on the clock or his main opponents.

All the same, the balance of the contest showed to shift soon after the second rabbit dropped out, towards the 1800m, as Farah appeared slightly heavy-legged – a hint of a likely increase in mileage in the background? – and could not shake the trio of Kipchoge, Tariku Bekele and Moses Kipsiro (UGA) tucked in single file behind him.

A sneaky feeling and a fear that assumed alarming shape when Bekele felt confident to burst past to the front 800m out and a slight gap crept between as Farah was apparently feeling the heat of the winding up pace and being stretched out, with Kipchoge slipping into the hole at 400m and Kipsiro following suit shorlty after to place the Briton under huge pressure.

Yet, even seeming desperately on the ropes, Farah somehow conjured up a last reserve of strength out of nowhere to surge back into the thick of things towards the bell and reignite his bid, under the roar of the home crowd, only for Kipchoge to sense his move and timely breeze to the front in a masterstroke that effectively handed him victory.

For Farah didn’t get past second-placed Bekele by the turn, forced to run wide thereon, as the Ethiopian acted as a bumper in between to soak up the impact of the Briton’s charge and allow Kipchoge to slip through the gears and away.

Gritting his teeth, the Briton made a last-gasp attempt off the final bend to eventually edge past Bekele, also holding off a fast-finishing Kipsiro, but there was no way to catch the flying Kenyan up front who crossed the line a convincing winner in a PB of 8:07.39.

Farah was rewarded for his heroics with a new European record of 8:08.07, eclipsing John Mayock‘s UK record of 8:17.06 into the bargain, through a European leading mark of a split of 7:37.40 at 3000m and will ponder a lot along with coach Alberto Salazar on how to tune his equipment in view of an anticipated fierce battle on the track of Istanbul.

But if physically turned up slightly short on the day, his spirit and commitment were in vigour and more then equal to the occasion to raise a glowing example for British athletes to emulate.

Just behind him, Kipsiro snatched third in an Ugandan record of 8:08.16 and ‘poor’ Bekele ended up fourth for all his endeavours in 8:08.27, making a PB still.