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Farah makes Britain proud, with a little help from other countries
Sunday, August 05, 2012
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Somalia-born Mo Farah praised an American training partner and his Cuban coach for helping him to Britain′s first ever gold in the 10,000 metres on a night that will be enshrined in Olympic history.
Farah, 29, won from the front with a blistering final lap to complete a gold-medal hat-trick for the host nation within one hour amid an electrifying atmosphere in the Olympic stadium.
Heptathlete Jessica Ennis and long jumper Greg Rutherford were the other winners British winners.
"I saw Jess and knew she had won. The atmosphere was something else. It was buzzing, It was like someone gave me 10 cups of coffee. I was so pumped up and knew I had to do something," Farah said.
"If it wouldn't have been for the crowd and the support I wouldn't have won. This is the best moment of my life," he said.
The emotional runner was embraced by his wife Tanya and daughter on the track after the biggest sports moment of his life, buoyed by the stadium crowd in what may have very well been the loudest minute in athletics history.
Farah's American training partner Galen Rupp took silver, leaving only bronze for Ethiopian Tariku Bekele, whose older brother Kenenisa Bekele came in fourth instead of getting a third straight gold.
"This is my home, where I grew up. It doesn't get any better to become an Olympic champion at the Olympics on your door step. This is my country," Farah said.
It was a long road for Farah, who was born in Mogadishu and relocated to Britain at age eight after a short stint in Djibouti as well. While not forgetting his roots, Farah said he is British through and through.
His running talent was discovered by a physical education school teacher. He has trained in Kenya and Ethiopia, the kingdoms of distance running, and achieved the breakthrough last year after he moved to the US to train under Cuba-born coach Alberto Salazar, a three-times New York Marathon winner in the 1980s, with Rupp as his training partner.
Farah won 5,000m gold at the 2011 world championships, which made him a contender for the Olympic races.
Rupp and Farah said that they had a plan to compete against the powerful Africans who always use team tactics.
"We tried to cover every move. In the last five laps it's then every man for himself," Farah said. "I used my speed in the end. I had to work hard in the last lap and couldn't believe that I really won."
He went on to heap praise on the 26-year-old Rupp and Salazar and also named his multi-national approach important.
"Ever since I joined that group I have had great support," he said, praising Salazar's expertise as a former top athlete. "I have trained in Ethiopia, Kenya and the US. You learn a lot. If you want to be the best you have to train with the best."
Looking at Rupp, he said: "He is one of my best friends. We are very laid back and chilled out."
That's how Farah also appeared around an hour after the end of Saturday's session, jogging lightly in the empty stadium where the lawn was being watered and preparations were being made for Sunday.
A few volunteers applauded the champion, and one of them wise-cracked, "Mo you can stop now, the race is over."
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