Mo Farah excites athletic fans on Day 1 of the London 2017 IAAF World Championships


This is Justin Lagat's story on the night of amazing track and field. With the only final being the Men's 10,000 meters, and Mo Farah, the finest distance runner in Great Britain, defending his title from 2015 (having won in 2013, 2015, plus Euro in 2014, and Olympics in 2012 and 2016), against the finest distance runenrs n the world!

The number of fans who turned up at the London Olympic stadium on the first day of the championships sends a clear message to the world; that the Britons do love athletics.

Only one gold medal was to be won on the first day, and perhaps was one of the reasons for the huge turnout of the British fans. Mo Farah was the favorite to win the men's 10,000m. The best 10,000m runners from East Africa were prepared to prevent that from happening.

But, the first one to receive a real huge roar in the stadium was Britain's Jessicca Judd in the first heat of the women 1500m. Genzebe Dibaba and Caster Semenya were the two big athletes in the first heat and it was Judd who led the field from gun up to almost the last 100m when Dibaba overtook her followed by Semenya and Winnie Chebet to take the first three positions. The good news is that Judd got rewarded for pacing as she finished sixth with a personal best time to qualify for the finals.

The second heat of the women 1500m, that had Siffan Hassan and Laura Muir in it, started out relatively slower, but got even more interesting as the race progressed. It was hard to tell who was going to take the race as a large group stayed together at the lead at the bell. It was Hassan who emerged the winner as seven athletes crossed the finish line all within a fraction of a second.

Faith Kipyegon won the final heat comfortably followed by Meraf Bahta in second and Sofia Ennaoui in third. Just like Judd, Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany did the most part of the pacing in heat three and also got rewarded to proceed to the finals by finishing sixth.

The final heat of the women's 1500m, with Kipyegon, Semenya, Hassan, Muir and Dibaba, among others is surely going to be a great one to watch.

As expected, the men's 10,000m race turned into a memorable one. From the first lap that was crossed in 61 seconds, it seemed as though both the Kenyans and Ugandans had one idea in common; to make it a fast race. Mo Farah did not seem to be bothered by the fast pace and stayed far behind in the early stages of the race.

Trouble for the East African runners started when Cheptigei gestured for other athletes to move to the front and take over the pacing. They seemed reluctant. Farah took the opportunity to slowly move towards the front as he waved to his his fans.

Bedan Karoki took the initiative to increase the pace again as the two other Kenyans followed him closely, but perhaps he was too late. It became harder to shake off Farah again from the leading pack. Abadi Hadis of Ethiopia and Aron Kifle of Eritrea also moved to the front to try their luck in breaking away, but a large group kept together at the front. With about three laps to go, Mo Farah finally took to the front and occupied the first lane, as usual. At the bell, Mo Farah was able to hold on to the lead against surges from Paul Tanui, Bedan Karoki and Joshua Cheptigei and steered himself away with 100m to go to win a third consecutive world title in the men's 10,000m. Cheptigei came second to win the silver medal while Paul Tanui won the bronze medal.

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