Farah seals historic gold for Britain

Eurosport - Tue, 27 Jul 20:40:00 2010

Mo Farah led a British one-two to win his country's first-ever European Championship 10,000 metres gold with Chris Thompson nabbing silver in Barcelona.

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In a slow, cautious race, Londoner Farah played a canny tactical game before easily pulling away from Spain's Ayad Lamdassem to soar home in 28 minutes 24.99 seconds.

Lamdassem faded badly in the home straight and was caught by Thompson, who was awarded silver after posting 28:27.33 - the same time as Italy's Daniele Meucci.

"It was a crazy race," Farah, who is also targeting 5,000m gold, told Eurosport after his win. "Four years ago I was less than a tenth of a second behind Jesus Espana (in the 5,000m final) and I've been waiting four years for this moment.

"I’ve been spending so long away from my family because of training, with all the high altitude training in Kenya, just trying to improve and stay injury free so I could do this.

"It means so much to finally win that gold medal. It’s great to do this for Britain, I feel so proud."

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Somalia-born Farah, 27, moved to England as a child refugee and has long been touted as the future of British distance running after a schoolteacher in the West London suburbs encouraged him to switch sports from football.

He has steadily progressed year-on-year and, after picking up a handful of European cross-country medals since 2006, has been tipped to be a marathon star in coming years.

It is a different success story for Lancashire's Thompson. Now 29, he failed to live up to his teenage promise but a recent move to the United States and a switch from 5,000 to 10,000m saw him regain focus to become a continental contender.

Ranked second in Europe this season behind his team-mate, the visibly emotional Thompson said he was spurred on to his late surge for silver by Farah’s performance.

"It’s an honour to finish second to this guy, he’s our best long distance runner ever, the first European champion," he said, standing beaming alongside his team-mate.

"I was only thinking about trying to finish third, which would have been amazing.

"I was out of it but when I saw Mo pull away (from Lamdassem) it drove me on and I went for second.

"I thought ‘if he gets gold and I get second…’ I was never going to let him down, not tonight."

Reda Maher / Eurosport

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