Mo Farah defended his 10,000m title in Beijing to take the first step towards an astonishing 5,000m and 10,000m double at consecutive World Championships.
He ran a final lap of 54.15 seconds, seven years on from failing to qualify for the Olympic 5,000m final at the same stadium.
“Three or four times, I nearly went down. I don’t have to think about it now. It is done,” said Farah referring to almost being tripped during the race.
Farah has endured some torrid times over the past year with his coach Alberto Salazar linked to doping in the sport. These are accusations Salazar denies, but Farah’s name was “dragged through mud” by association as he himself pointed out back in June.
“It is great to have so many people behind me,” said Farah seconds after his latest success. “I’ve had to let my running do the talking, and just keep on winning medals. That is what I’m good at.
“I want to thank everyone who has supported me – my family and the public.”
Farah draped himself in the Union flag to celebrate his victory before a fairly deserted Bird’s Nest stadium on a hot and humid Beijing evening.
“To run 27 minutes in that heat isn’t easy,” said a smiling Farah.
It is the sixth major gold medal he has claimed and his fourth at the World Championships.
Mo Farah wins his fourth world title on the track as he takes victory in the men’s 10,000m! 27:01.13 for the Brit! pic.twitter.com/QefN9v4Tk6
— IAAF (@iaaforg) August 22, 2015
He time of 27:01.13 also breaks the stadium record in Beijing by three hundredths of a second.
He is arguably Britain’s greatest athlete in history, a man who always seems to deliver on the big occasion.
The 5,000m heats start on Wednesday with the final next Saturday. Nobody has achieved such a double in athletics history as he bids to emulate the feat he managed in Moscow two years ago.
“No-one has done it and it would be amazing to make history,” he said prior to defending the 10,000m title.
“To win both from Moscow to here would be incredible. It’s not going to be easy, but it can happen.”