Mo Farah wins 10,000 meters at World Championships

Mo Farah

British double Olympic champion Mo Farah won his first world championship in the 10,000 meters Saturday on the first day of action at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Farah took the lead with 800 meters to go and never relinquished after a slow early pace on an 82-degree day. Farah held off 2011 world champion Ibrahim Jeilan, sprinting a 54.49 final lap.

“Definitely had the experience from a couple years ago,” Farah, who was passed on the final straight by Jeilan in 2011, told the BBC. “This time I saw him (Jeilan) coming at the bell. I knew he was behind me. It was important to have something left.”

He won in 27 minutes, 21.71 seconds, kissed the blue track, broke into his trademark Mobot pose and did a victory lap draped in a Great Britain flag with the words “FLY MO” printed on it. Jeilan took silver in 27:22.23. Kenyan Paul Tanui grabbed bronze.

Americans Galen Rupp and Dathan Ritzenhein were in medal positions at different points over the last 2,000 meters and finished fourth and 10th, respectively.

“The aim was me and my training partner Galen Rupp to work together,” Farah told the BBC. “The (other) guys were going out there to take a little out of me.”

Rupp, who trains with Farah, won silver in the 10,000 at the 2012 Olympics.

An Ethiopian had won nine of the previous 10 world titles in the 10,000. This was the first time since 1991 that the worlds final did not include either of the Ethiopian legends and four-time 10,000 world champions Haile Gebrselassie or Kenenisa Bekele.

Farah is the first man running for a non-East African country to win the 10,000 world title since the first World Championships in 1983.

Farah will try to match his 5,000-10,000 double from the London Olympics. He returns to the track for heats of the 5,000 on Tuesday. The final is Friday. Bekele is the only man to win both the 5,000 and 10,000 at the same worlds, doing so in 2009.

Farah made news before the World Championships by challenging Usain Bolt to a race and boxer Amir Khan to a fight.

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Mo Farah likely to retire this year

Mo Farah

British track legend Mo Farah will likely retire by the end of this year.

“I’m not going to go to the Olympics, and I think 2023 will probably be my last year,” the 39-year-old Farah said, according to multiple British media reports.

Farah, who swept the 5000m and 10,000m golds at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, was announced Tuesday as part of the field for the London Marathon on April 23.

Last May, Farah reportedly said he believed his career on the track was over, but not the roads.

London might not be his last marathon. Farah also said that if, toward the end of this year, he was capable of being picked to run for Britain again, he would “never turn that down,” according to Tuesday’s reports.

It’s not clear if Farah was referencing the world track and field championships, which include a marathon and are in Budapest in August. Or selection for the 2024 British Olympic marathon team.

The fastest British male marathoner last year ran 2:10:46, ranking outside the top 300 in the world. Farah broke 2:10 in all five marathons that he’s finished, but he hasn’t run one since October 2019 (aside from pacing the 2020 London Marathon).

Farah withdrew four days before the last London Marathon on Oct. 2, citing a right hip injury.

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah’s best London Marathon finish in four starts was third place in 2018.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

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Kendall Gretsch wins six gold medals at Para Nordic Ski Worlds

Kendall Gretsch

Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.

Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.

She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.

Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.

Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.

Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.

The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.

Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.

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