Mo Farah is at the top of his game now. Even with the media histrionics that he has dealt with this year, Mo can focus like few others and his ability to kick down the pace over the last 1200 meters is second to no one. His win tonight over Geoffrey Kamworor, who has his eyes set on a gold medal over 10,000 meters, was formidable.
His finish? 3:01 for last 1200 meters, 2:29 for last 1000 meters, 1:58 for last 800 meters and just under 55.1 for last 400 meters. His last 200 meters? 25.9!
The distance runner who specializes over twenty-five laps is a rare duck, to say the least. Someone who thrives on high mileage, can handle the repetition work, tempo work and still have the endurance to work on finishing speed.
Think of the 10,000 meters as an aerobic chess match.
And the best guy in the world, bar none, is Mo Farah.
In 2011, in Daegu, Korea, Mo Farah was outkicked by Ibrahim Jeilan. He has not lost a major championship since. In 2013, in Moscow, Mo Farah dusted Jeilan over the last 200 meters.
In Beijing, China, Mo Farah did not have Jeilan in the field, he had Geoffrey Kamworor. Kamworor has won World Cross Country and World Half Marathon titles. He recently won the Kenyan Trials and his stated desire was gold in Beijing.
The race went out remarkably relaxed, as the trio of Bedan Mucheri, Paul Tanui, Geoffrey Kamworor and Imane Merga all began to push the pace a bit.
The kilometers were pretty unremarkable at first: 2:52.52 for the first kilometers, and 5:32.10 (2:40), then 8:15.13 for 3000 meters, as the race pack disintegrated. That 2:43 for the third kilometer broke it up, but Rupp stayed in sixth and Mo Farah floated through the pack, not really engaging, but not getting into trouble either. 4000m in 10:57.62 and Muchuri, Kamworor, and Tanui were on a mission; break Mo Farah. The 5000 meter mark in 13:40.82 was pretty honest running.
But, all the players had to know what was coming next: ramp up the pace, and hurt the field.
Mo Farah controls a race from wherever he is. Unless a torrid pace is mounted, and there is pressure on Farah over the last kilometer, and this means relentless, no one is going to get the guy!
The last five kilometers went by as Mo Farah moved to seventh, with Galen Rupp in sixth, lurking. Kamworor pushed, Muchiri pushed, Tanui pushed. Merga dropped out.
The 6000 meters was hit in 16:22.92 (2:42), 7000 meters in 19:06.32 (2:45), and 8000 meters in 21:50.02 (2:46).
This is not a pace to break Mo Farah.
Mo had tried to lead a few times, but Geoffrey Kamworor had in his head to lead, it seems, at all costs. Geoffrey will not do that again.
The last kilometer was run in 2:28.81 by Mo Farah, with that last lap just over 55 seconds and the last 200 meters in just above 25.9.
With the bell lap, Mo Farah took the lead, with Geoffrey Kamworor on his heels. Paul Tanui went by Galen Rupp, as did Bedan Muchiri as Galen held on gamely, but just did not have the gas at the end to hold onto a medal.
With 200 meters to go, Kamworor was there, Tanui was menacing and Mo Farah did what he does best! He runs like hell over that last 200 meters and makes a strong kick off the turn. He did that just in time as it gave him the five meters of daylight to pump his arms and know he was victorious.
Mo Farah won in 27:01.13, with Geoffrey Kamworor in 27:01.76, Paul Tanui in 27:02.83, Bedan Muchiri in 27:04.77 and Galen Rupp in 27:08.91.
A second 5000 meters in 13:21 and Mo Farah could not be beat!
An amazingly exciting chess game tonight, and for the three major championship in four years, Mo Farah is victorious over 10,000 meters!
And now, we get to watch Mo Farah take on all comers over the 5,000 meters!
Is this a great world or what?