By David Monti, with analysis at the end added by LetsRun.com
(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
MOSCOW (16-Aug) — Eight laps into a herky-jerky men’s 5000m final at the IAAF World Championships here tonight, defending champion Mo Farah felt a side stitch. He was worried if the pace increased soon, the stitch might derail his lofty goal of duplicating the 10,000m/5000m double gold medal performance from the Olympic Games last August. He took to pushing in his stomach to try to control it.
“I had a bit of a stitch and hoped that the pace wouldn’t go as fast, and it didn’t,” Farah later observed. (Editor’s note: In the post-race press conference Farah said because of the stitch, “It definitely was the sweetest (of his World titles) by far.” Audio/video post-race reaction here. )
The pace, in fact, seesawed from fast to slow and back several times during the race. It started with the shuffling pace so common in championships finals, then the next lap went by in just over 61 seconds after Kenya’s Isiah Koech surged ahead, opening a large but unsustainable lead. His compatriot, Olympic bronze medalist Thomas Longosiwa, followed a few steps behind.
“I was trying to push,” said Koech who finished fourth at the last edition of these championships two years ago in Daegu, Korea. “My plan was to run my best.”
Farah and reigning silver medalist Bernard Lagat of the United States refused to react, and the pace slowed way down again (the fourth lap was timed in nearly 71 seconds), and the pack came back together. Farah finally took the lead with seven laps to go, more to steady the pace than to push it.
“I went to the front to control it and try to stay out of trouble,” Farah told reporters.
Farah only led for two laps, and as the race went through the 3000m mark in a pedestrian 8:27.79, Koech again tried to speed things up. He turned the next lap in 62.33 seconds, enough to slim the lead pack to a manageable size.
“I like the pace when it is high,” Koech explained. He continued: “I know Farah is faster than me (in the end).”
With two laps to go, Farah had the race right where he wanted it. He eased into the lead and started to press the pace. His penultimate lap took just 57.5 seconds, then he started the long kick that has brought him so many victories. He strode down the backstretch in full flight and Koech, Longosiwa, Lagat and Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet gave chase. Lagat said he was in just the right position to contend for a medal.
“In fact, I put myself in the best position all the way,” Lagat said after the race, bleeding badly from a spike wound. He added: “I kept telling myself, ‘feel composed, you’re going to do this, you’re going to do this.’ I believed it one hundred percent.”
Coming out of the final turn, Farah was still leading and and had found his highest gear. Koech and Longosiwa were right behind him, and looked like one would get silver and bronze, respectively. But Gebrhiwet, the world junior record holder for 3000m indoors, did not give up. He first passed Longosiwa, then just nipped Koech before the line. Lagat finished sixth, and his American teammate –and Farah’s training partner– Galen Rupp finished 8th.
“It was a bit difficult for me, but I’m happy with my outcome,” Gebrhiwet said through a translator.
Farah ran the final lap in 53.51 seconds and the title was his in 13:26.98. In the last three global championships he was won five of the six gold medals on offer in the 5000m and 10,000m. He is the undisputed world #1.
“I was confident from having run a fast 1500m (at the Herculis Meeting in Monaco last month), and fast few races towards the end,” Farah said. “And if it came down to the end I was confident in my speed.” He added: “As an athlete you just want to be able to keep winning.”
Officials had to look at the photo to determine who had gotten second place. In the end, Gebrhiwet was clocked in 13:27.259 and Koech in 13:27.260; just 1/1000th of a second separated them.
Full results and then Quick Takes by LetsRun.com appear below the results.
|3||716||Isiah Kiplangat KOECH||KEN||13:27.26|
|4||718||Thomas Pkemei LONGOSIWA||KEN||13:27.67|
|5||722||Edwin Cheruiyot SOI||KEN||13:29.01|
LRC Men’s 5000m Analysis
Quick Take (QT) #1 Fool Me Once Shame on You, Fool Me Five Times…: Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome? How many times do the guys on the circuit need to be told, if you want to beat Mo Farah, at a minimum, you need to have the lead at the bell and make Farah, not yourself extra ground. Yet, they let Farah control things from the front.
QT #2: The Pivotal Point in the Race Was With 700m To Go When Farah Took the Lead: Of course, it’s easier said than done making sure you have the lead at the bell. In his post-race chat with us after this one, American Bernard Lagat said once in the lead Farah simply won’t let anyone come by him as he’s strong enough to increase the pace. That may be true but if someone pushed hard enough, they could get the lead, but who knows at what cost.
The key point of this one was with 700m to go when Mo Farah took the lead from Yenew Alamirew. Alamirew was leading and Farah came and took the lead from him. Alamirew tried to beat Farah to the 600m mark but to no avail. (To watch that point of the race click here).
QT #3: The Extra Ground Makes a Huge Difference: Isiah Koech Ran Faster Than Farah His Last 400m
Now you won’t see this looking at the official splits (more on them below), but Isiah Koech ran faster than Mo Farah for his last 400m. Officially their last lap splits were 53.44 for Farah and 53.64 for Koech so what are we talking about? Well notice we said Koech ran faster for his final 400 meters not last lap.
The big problem for Koech was he was running most of his last lap in lane 2 so he ran somewhere between maybe 403 and 407 meters instead of 400m on his last lap. If an athlete is a full lane over that’s an extra 7+ meters they are running PER lap. At 52 second pace 7 meters takes .9 seconds. So half a lane over is going to be roughly .4-.5 seconds extra added. That’s a big difference in a race determined by .28. Not to mention Koech made a huge move from 500 to 400 to go just to get up on Farah.
Everyone talks about beating Mo Farah by making it a faster race. What if someone just kept him out of lane 1 for the final lap?
QT #4: Alamirew Not A Factor the Last 200m
You may have realized that the guy everyone thought would be Farah’s #1 thread, Yenew Alamirew of Ethiopia, wasn’t even mentioned at all in the story recap above. There is a reason for that. He wasn’t a factor the last 200m. He didn’t stop to talk to the media after finishing 9th in 13:31.37. So maybe trying to keep Farah from the lead took it’s toll.
QT #3: Lean:
It drives us nuts when professionals let up at the line yet that’s what Koech did here at the finish and it cost him a silver medal. After Amantle Montsho cost herself a 400 title earlier this week by letting up at the line, you think every coach in Moscow would have reminded his or her athletes not to do it themselves. Yet we’ve now seen two medals change hands because of rule #1 in track and field – run all the way through the finish line. We’ve also seen an athlete’s shoes come untied. Maybe high schoolers shouldn’t watch the pros for advice.
QT #5: Rupp a Non Factor on Final Lap:
Galen Rupp, who showed so much speed indoors having the world’s best time at the mile and 3000 indoors, was not a factor here when he needed that speed over the final lap. He didn’t have much to say in his brief stop with the print reporters after the race. He told USATF, “Just got to get back to training and go on to the next one.” Rupp’s outdoor season has been a little bit off compared to last year. Did he burn it a little too hot indoors?
QT #6 Ryan Hill Picks a Group:
The third American in the race, Ryan Hill, ended up 10th in 13:32.69 in his first showing at Worlds. Afterwards, Hill told us he’s decided which Nike Group he’ll be with next year but wasn’t sure if he should reveal it quite yet. He compared the process to being recruited to college. His season isn’t over yet. He’ll race a 1000 as a prep for 1500 and then hopefully a 5000 where he hopes to break 13:10.
QT #7: 100m Slits for Everyone in the Field Reveals Who Had the Fastest Last Lap (And even that wasn’t Mo Farah)
Want lap by lap splits? We’ve been recording them all week and now realize that IAAF lists every athlete’s split for every 100 meters. Pretty soon there will be no reason for any media member to be at the race.
Farah’s last lap was 53.44, with a last 200 of 26.61. And while above we talked about Koech running his last 400 (not last lap) faster than Farah, Gebrhiwet actually ran the last lap faster than Farah. Gebrhiwet’s last 400m was 53.38.
One other thing about the splits? Leader to leader, the first lap was 71.48 and second lap was 61.24 but Farah was smart enough not to do something that stupid. He went 72.66 on the first but only ramped it down to 64.57 on the second lap. He’s a very smart racer.
Don’t like our Quicktakes? *LRC Visitor Jonathan Gaul has his here.
*Farah talked about going after faster times in the post-race press conference
*All LRC 5000m Coverage Here With Race Video/Post-Race Interviews