Mo Farah Defends Olympic 10K Title

The Best of FloTrack Just Got Better
In one of the fastest 10K finals in Olympic history, Mo Farah defended his gold medal in 27:05. Farah, Kenenisa Bekele, and Haile Gebrselassie have now won the last six Olympic 10K titles.

Kenyans Geoffrey Kamworor and Paul Tanui ground out the modest early pace, hitting 5K in 13:53. Tanui put in the first serious injection of pace with 2000 meters to go, throwing down a 63-second lap. Not long after, the Ethiopian duo of Yigrem Demelash and Tamirat Tola took over, leading to a wild and futile last mile where the duo unsuccessfully tried to run away from Farah.

In a carbon copy of so many global championships that we've seen in the last half-decade, though, Farah took the lead with a thousand meters to go, slowed the pace slightly, and utterly controlled the race. With 400 meters to go, the pack was the two Ethiopians, Farah, Tanui, and Farah's sometime training partner Galen Rupp. 

Tanui made the first move at the bell, and Rupp was dropped. Farah kept within a meter of Tanui, and powered past him with 120 meters to go. The race for gold was over, and Tanui's run for gold paid off with silver. Tola and Demelash were third and fourth, less than a second behind Tanui and more than two seconds ahead of Rupp.

The 5K splits were a stunning 13:53, 13:12. Only Bekele--in both 2004 and and 2008--has run faster in an Olympic final. 

For Rupp, though the finish had to be mildly disappointing after silver in London, the result was right in line with what he's done over the last five years--with the caveat that this time, he's been training for the marathon.

Americans Leonard Korir and Shadrack Kipchirir were 14th and 19th; Canadian Mo Ahmed of the Bowerman Track Club was the last finisher in 32nd.

There was drama early in the race, as Farah hit the track after making contact with Rupp. But the Oregon Project duo quickly started looking for each other, Farah flashed a thumbs-up, and everything was fine. In fact, it was more than fine.

Farah is now one of just six men with two Olympic gold medals in the 10K.

1. 27:05.17 Mo Farah (GBR)
2. 27:05.64 Paul Tanui (KEN)
3. 27:06.26 Tamirat Tola (ETH)
4. 27:06.27 Yigrem Demelash (ETH)
5. 27:08.92 Galen Rupp (USA)
14. 27:35.65 Leonard Korir (USA)
19. 27:58.32 Shadrack Kipchirchir (USA)
32. 29:32.84 Mo Ahmed (CAN)

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