Mo Farah

Mo Farah loses final track championship race (video)

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LONDON (AP) — It was the familiar “Mobot” celebration on an unfamiliar face.

Muktar Edris put an end to Mo Farah’s dominance in the distance races at the world championships on Saturday, and he crossed the line doing the move that Farah made famous at the Olympics five years ago.

Edris out-kicked Farah down the stretch, beating the British runner at his own game in the final seconds of the 5000m.

“Mo has many victories but now I have one. I am the new champion for Ethiopia,” Edris said. “That’s why I did the ‘Mobot.’ I am the next champion.”

Farah won the long-distance double at the 2012 London Olympics. As he crossed the finish line in those races, he raised his arms and put his hands on the top of his head, creating a sort of “M″ shape.

He’s been using that pose ever since as he continued to rule the track by again winning the 5000m and 10,000m in Rio.

He didn’t have enough in his legs to get his arms up over his head this time, settling for silver and falling down on the track in exhaustion after crossing the line.

“I gave it all,” said Farah, who was running on the track at a major championship for the last time. “I didn’t have a single bit left at the end.”

Farah, now 34 years old and a six-time world champion, knew the opposition would be gunning for him. And they did.

They boxed Farah in. They changed the pace of the race. They made him work hard knowing that his 10,000-meter victory on the opening day of the championships would take something out of his punishing finish.

“Tactically, I was trying to cover every move,” Farah said. “They had the game plan. One of them was going to sacrifice themselves. That’s what they did tonight, and the better man won.”

Edris won in 13 minutes, 33.79 seconds, finishing .43 seconds ahead of Farah. Paul Chelimo of the United States took bronze.

“I was highly prepared for this race and I knew I was going to beat Mo Farah,” Edris said. “After the 10km, he was maybe tired so he did not have enough for the last kick. I was stronger.”

It wasn’t the medal Farah was after, but there will likely be more chances for gold.

Unlike Usain Bolt, who is retiring from the sport following this year’s worlds, Farah is just switching disciplines and will soon start competing in marathons.

That means Farah could still be taking his familiar spot at the top of the podium at the Olympics or the worlds sometime in the near future, and maybe even employing the “Mobot” once again.

Until then, though, he’ll have some fond memories of the track.

“It’s been amazing,” Farah said. “It’s been a long journey but it’s been incredible.”

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Mo Farah opens farewell with third straight world 10,000m title (video)

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Mo Farah extended his distance dominance, winning his fifth straight global title in the 10,000m and delighting the home crowd at the world championships in London on Friday night.

Farah, the 2012 and 2016 Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion, is racing his farewell track season before moving to road racing and marathons.

He won in 26:49.51, the fastest Olympic or world championship 10,000m final since 2009, before Farah rose to the top of distance running. It’s the first time Farah has gone sub-27 minutes in a global final.

“Tonight was one of the toughest races of my life,” Farah told media at the Olympic Stadium, where he was one of three “Super Saturday” headliners on this date five years ago. “The guys chucked everything at me.”

Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei took silver in a personal best, .43 behind, failing to keep up with Farah’s trademark final sprint. Kenyan Paul Tanui, the Olympic silver medalist, bagged bronze.

Farah went to the lead with 600 meters left in the 25-lap race, but the field made him work for it. Farah bumped with another runner on the final lap and was forced to take one step on the infield.

“I was tripped, I was kicked,” Farah said.

He took a victory lap with his four children on the track.

Eleven of the top 15 finishers ran personal bests, including all three Americans.

Farah goes for an 11th straight global title in the 5000m/10,000m distance races in the 5000m next week. But first, he saw a doctor about cuts on his bandaged left leg that he said might require stitches.

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WORLDS: TV Schedule | 5 Men’s Races to Watch | 5 Women’s Races

Men’s 10,000m Results
Gold: Mo Farah (GBR) — 26:49.51

Silver: Joshua Cheptegei (UGA) — 26:49.94
Bronze: Paul Tanui (KEN) — 26:50.60
9. Shadrack Kipchirchir (USA) — 27:07.55
13. Leonard Korir (USA) — 27:20.18
15. Hassan Mead (USA) — 27:32.49

Five men’s races to watch at world track and field championships

Wayde van Niekerk, Usain Bolt
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The intrigue in men’s events at the world championships is focused on the track, where Usain Bolt and Mo Farah say farewells and Wayde van Niekerk eyes a sprint double.

The 10-day meet begins Friday and runs through Aug. 13 at London’s Olympic Stadium.

Bolt plans to retire after worlds, where he will race the 100m on Friday and Saturday and the 4x100m the following Saturday. The 30-year-old has slowed every year since his 2009 world records, but his competition may be at its weakest ever this year.

Plus, Bolt has narrowed his focus. He will not be in the 200m field at an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2003.

Farah, too, looks to extend a lengthy winning streak in his major track farewell at home before turning to road racing. Unlike Bolt, he is not paring his workload. The Somalian-born Brit goes for a third straight 5000m-10,000m double at worlds. Nobody else has done it more than once.

Finally, van Niekerk looks to become the second man to win the 200m and 400m at one worlds. The first was Michael Johnson, whose 400m world record Van Niekerk snatched at the Rio Olympics.

WORLDS: TV Schedule | 5 Men’s Races to Watch | 5 Women’s Races

Five men’s races to watch at worlds:

100 Meters
Saturday, 4:45 p.m. ET on NBC

No matter what Bolt says, he is largely seen as the favorite in a very slow year for men’s sprinters. Only one man has broken 9.90 seconds this year — American Christian Coleman‘s 9.82 in June — but Coleman hasn’t broken 9.93 outside of that, including in his last four races. And he has never raced individually outside of the U.S. and Canada.

Olympic silver medalist Justin Gatlin has also been unimpressive this year. Gatlin’s best time this season is 9.95 after a spring slowed by injuries. At this same time last year, he had run 9.80. In 2015, he had run 9.74. In 2014, he had run 9.80. Age may have finally caught up to the 35-year-old, the 2004 Olympic champion who is seven years removed from a four-year doping ban.

Olympic bronze medalist Andre De Grasse is out of worlds with a strained hamstring.

Then there’s Bolt, who didn’t break 10 seconds in two June races, then made his usual visit to his German doctor to work on his back. Bolt then ran 9.95 to win a race in Monaco on July 21, the fastest time this year run outside one’s home country.

400 Meters
Wednesday, 4:52 p.m. ET on NBCSN

In contrast, the 400m has never been faster. Three men broke 43.75 seconds before August. Never before has more than one man broken 43.75 before August.

Van Niekerk heads the field. The South African memorably lowered Michael Johnson‘s world record at the Rio Olympics, winning in 43.03 seconds from lane 8. Van Niekerk, 25, followed that up with the third- and fourth-fastest times of his life in July. He eased up in 43.62 seconds in Lausanne, then had to fight for a win in 43.75 in Monaco.

In most years, those times would make Van Niekerk an overwhelming favorite at worlds. However, two men are nipping at his heels this season.

Fred Kerley, who didn’t make it out of the U.S. Olympic Trials first round, ran 43.70 on May 26, the fastest time ever that early in a year. Kerley, 22, backed it up. He has five of the 11 fastest times in the world this year.

The latest challenger is Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, the man who nearly handed Van Niekerk defeat in Monaco. The 30-year-old didn’t make it out of the Rio Olympic semifinals but ran 43.72 in 2015 and, like Van Niekerk, has broken 44 seconds twice this year.

200 Meters
Aug. 10, 4:52 p.m. ET on NBCSN

The last time Bolt didn’t contest the 200m at a global championship was 2003, when American John Capel took the crown two years after being drafted by the Chicago Bears following a college career at the University of Florida under Steve Spurrier.

But Van Niekerk and Makwala are both entered, which will keep plenty of excitement around sans Bolt. Chances are one of the two will be racing to equal Johnson’s feat from 1995 of sweeping the 400m and 200m titles. Makwala has the fastest time in the world this year, a 19.77. Van Niekerk has run 19.84 and 19.90. Nobody else in the world 200m field has broken 19.95 in 2017.

De Grasse would have been a medal contender here, too.

The Americans owned this event pre-Bolt. From 2003 through 2007, a different U.S. man won this race at every worlds and the 2004 Olympics (where the U.S. swept the medals). But this year, it would be a surprise to see a U.S. medal.

The three fastest Americans this year are not entered in this event — Coleman, Noah Lyles and Christopher Belcher. Instead, the top hope to keep the U.S. from its first shutout since 1997 is Ameer Webb, who ranks ninth this year among men entered in London.

5000 Meters
Aug. 12, 3:20 p.m. ET on NBC

Every Olympic and world 5000m final since 2011 has gone almost like this: Farah stays with the pack, then accelerates near the front with a lap or two to go and puts the hammer down in the final 100 meters like nobody else to win.

This is the last chance for somebody to disrupt Farah’s strategy that has been unbeatable for nearly six years at the 5000m and 10,000m. It’s not that Farah is the fastest distance runner of all time — he ranks Nos. 31 and 16, respectively, on the all-time lists of 5000m and 10,000m personal bests — but he is the fastest finisher if the pace is reasonable.

At presumably his last worlds, the 34-year-old Farah will race the 10,000m on the opening night Friday, and then have five days off before the 5000m heats and his farewell 5000m final three days after that.

The men who will be chasing Farah include Ethiopian rival Hagos Gebrhiwet, a 23-year-old whose personal best is five seconds faster than Farah’s. But Gebrhiwet is 0-4 against Farah in global finals. Ethiopia also boasts the two fastest men this year — Muktar Edris and Selemon Barega — and the fastest man of 2015 — Yomif Kejelcha. Edris and Kejelcha have been routinely beaten by Farah, but the 17-year-old Barega has never faced the British legend.

Then there’s Paul Chelimo, the surprise Rio silver medalist who barely made the U.S. team at Olympic Trials by .06. Though Chelimo won this year’s U.S. title by a landslide seven seconds, he was nine seconds slower than Farah at the Pre Classic on May 27.

4x100m Relay
Aug. 12, 4:50 p.m. ET on NBC

Should be the last race of Bolt’s career. It is by no means a guaranteed victory lap, even though Jamaica crossed the 4x100m finish line first at every Olympics and worlds since 2008.

Bolt and the rest of the Jamaicans are slowing down. Their likely relay quartet’s top 100m times this year add up to 39.86 seconds. The U.S.’ projected relay team adds up to 39.70. But the Americans have botched the relay consistently, missing the podium due to bad exchanges or disqualifications at five of the last six global championships.

Consider this: Gatlin usually runs second or third leg for the U.S. 4x100m. If he’s again not anchoring, the U.S. will likely close with a sprinter who is green on the world stage. How would you like to be that man with a hard-charging Bolt next to you in the final sprint of Bolt’s career?

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