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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