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Farah caught a stroke away from golden shore

Mo Farah stood in disbelief and rather hazy as he gazed around trying to make out what has happened after the end of the men’s 10000m final. He had turned equal to the challenge, fashioned a superb performance bearing all the marks and qualities of a great champion and knocked down one after the other every single top rival on the way, looking as though heading to a comprehensive victory around 250m out. And yet there he stood having to be content with silver as relatively unknown and non-much-fancied Ibrahim Jeilan, he among all his way more renowned countrymen, suddenly felt inspired to unleash a storming last 300m that saw him pip the European champion in the dying stages.

The young Ethiopian was no slouch by any means holding a PB of 27:02.81 as a 17-year-old back in 2006, winning the World U20 title in Beijing, and a global U20 cross-country champion in Edinburgh in 2008. Further, in hindsight, there may have been a sound ground behind his astounding success that was overlooked; he seems to be spending a great deal of time and racing in neighbouring Japan, hence more suited to the conditions that appear to have affected very much every other competitor around the arena. Unfortunately, that is part of the game too.

So has Mo stumbled upon a potential nemesis at the time that he has shrugged off every top tier name around, including great Kenenisa Bekele who sadly stepped off the track halfway through? Not necessarily. Young and talented though the Ethiopian may be, there are comets that come to blaze bright and then fizzle out so often and he will have to back his triumph up, which may turn a even more daunting task than pulling off that shocker today. Moreover, let’s not forget that Mo joined Alberto Salazar‘s camp in Oregon only midway through the winter so he may have not yet fully bedded in all the elements and gains of his training. A second, full winter is going to spell and effect a lot more in this respect while next summer he is going to entertain his rivals on his own ground; London. So there is a great deal of the plot to shape up yet.

Of course, a silver medal in such a highly quality and competitive event is no mean feat by any means, that is a wonderful achievement that Farah can take all the pride in the world in. A year ago he would have grabbed that with both hands without a second thought. So if there have been mixed feelings about him, or among his supporters, it only serves to show how far he has come since. On top of that, his golden dream is not over yet as he has got still the option of the 5000m before him so hopefully he is going to have fully recovered and have his appetite sharpened by the time the heats get underway on Thursday morning. Incidentally, that was the first British medal in the men’s distances since Jack Buckner‘s bronze over 5000m in Rome 1987 and first ever over the distance contested.

Racewise, Farah’s only slight mistake could have been that he went a little too early and too hard at the bell where a more gradual winding up of the pace could have set him up nicely for a stronger kick home and have something to respond when he came under fierce attack at the end. But full credit to Jeilan who believed he could pull it off and was duly rewarded in gold in the end, edging slightly ahead of the Briton in 27:13.81 to 27:14.07. Imane Merga‘s ‘killing elbows’ were third well behind in 27:19.14, with Zersenay Tadesse (ERI) following on in fourth in 27:22.57, while the Kenyans hardly played any part by stark contrast to their female counterparts overwhelming clean sweep in the women’s respective final yesterday.

Full result:


Morning Session

Hannah England wins her heat to qualify comfortably through to the semis

Lisa Dobriskey is caught out in a sprint finish affair to crash out of the women’s 1500m heats



DAY II  lead-up

Holly Bleasdale and Kate Dennison lead the British team into the second day of action as they are competing in the qualifying round of the women’s pole vault eyeing a place in the final, which requires either a 4.60m clearance or a top 12 spot among both groups combined. Both have bettered that height this season, the former by a sound 10cm into a UK record of 4.70m, so have a good chance of making the grade.

European champion Andy Turner goes straight into the very first heat of the 110m hurdles second-seeded behind former Olympic champion Xiang Liu and should normally advance with ease, three automatic spots and four fastest losers through on offer.

Lawrence Clarke follows out in lane eight in the next flight where he faces a potential tight separate race for that coveted third automatic place against Ronald Forbes (CAY, 13.50), Dominic Bochenet (POL, 13.44), Alexander John (GER, 13.45), Kostas Douvalidis (GRE, 13.51) and Balacz Bazi (HUN, 13.58). Season revelation Jason Richardson (USA) and Dwight Thomas (JAM) lie a gear or two up on the rest in a quite ‘loaded’ heat behind.

William Sharman will be hoping to follow up on that 13.47 secs at Loughborough and goes into a manageable third heat where only David Oliver emerges as a daunting figure among the field. Jamaican Andrew Riley is next best on a 13.32 secs PB this term.

Plenty and high British interest in the first round of the women’s 1500m as Lisa Dobriskey and Hannah England are looking very good and fluent of late and will be eyeing to secure their places in the next phase saving as much as possible. With six automatic places from each heat and also six fastest losers slots available there shouldn’t be a problem in that respect. England is third fastest on paper in the opening section while Dobriskey figures only seventh in the second, although her SB of 4:04.76 doesn’t really reflect the quality of her form and she is a fiercesome finisher on top.

Britain’s sole representative Martyn Rooney is lining up in the fifth and final heat of the men’s 400m preliminary round and has got to go through with four qualifying by right and four fastest losers to boot. Chris Brown (BAH) and Tony McQuay (USA) are the two top names in it with controversial Oscar Pictorius settling his blades in his blocks on the outside lane.