Britain’s Mo Farah broke away from the pack on the final stretch and took the gold medal in the Men’s 10,000 meters at the Olympic Stadium in London.
One of the leading contenders heading into the event held over the weekend, Farah crossed the finish line in 27:30:42, while his training partner, American Galen Rupp took the silver in 27:30:43. Ethiopia’s Tariku Bekele, the younger brother of another prerace favorite and defending champion, Kenenisa Bekele, took third just ahead of the elder Bekele in 27:31:43 to earn the bronze medal.
Even before the 10,000 meter final, the capacity crowd at Olympic Stadium was already buzzing because another Brit, Jessica Ennis, capped her gold medal performance in the Women’s Heptathlon by outdistancing her opponents in the final event, the 800 meters. By the time the Men’s 10,000 meters final began, the crowd was decidedly pro-Mo Farah and cheered loudly from start to finish. Heading into the final lap, Farah and Rupp were both deep in the pack but Farah put on an incredible final kick in surging past the other contenders to the finish with Rupp just a half second behind in one of the most exciting finishes and most memorable performances at the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
After the race, his wife Tania, who is pregnant with twins and his seven-year-old daughter Rihanna joined Farah on the field in celebration, after becoming the first British athlete ever to win an Olympic 10,000 meter gold medal and capping the most successful single day for Great Britain since the 1908 Olympics by earning an impressive total of six gold medals.
Farah continued his celebration on the field by donning a Union Jack over his shoulders and jogged across the field with the majority of the 80,000 fans rejoicing in their countryman’s Olympic gold medal performance. In speaking to reporters, Mo Farah credits the enormous support of the the rousing crowd in pumping him up to extent that he felt like he just drank 20 cups of coffee. He said that with 200 meters to go, he couldn’t feel his feet but he could hear the crowd grow louder and louder and never experienced anything like it, especially with the repeated chants of his name. Farah described his Olympic victory as “Its never going to get better than this. This is the best moment of my life for something I’ve worked so hard.”
For Galen Rupp, his second place finish made him the first American to win an Olympic medal in the Men’s 10,000 meters since Native American Billy Mills’ dramatic upset victory in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The graduate of Oregon University, with its legendary distance running program, Rupp had this to say:
“To be able to go 1-2 with my training partner and one of my best friends, I couldn’t be happier with the way the race went.”
The rest of Great Britain couldn’t be happier with the way the race went as well as Mo Farah, who describes himself on his official website as “the UK’s finest ever distance runner.” Now that he has won Olympic gold and is the pride of the nation, it’s safe to say that he backed up his claim on Saturday.