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Rio Olympics: Mo Farah admits focus is stumbling block in bid for double glory

By Ian Herbert

The consequences of that fall in the 10,000m final on Saturday night are still there for Mo Farah.

"My shoulder. I feel it when I sleep at night. It hurts me, but I'll be alright," said Farah, who got up to clinch gold. But his powers of concentration were concerning him most after he progressed to the 5,000m final.

Farah stumbled again in his attempt to become the second man after Finland's Lasse Viren (1972/76) to retain both the 10,000m and 5,000m titles, and he attributed that to focus. He regained his poise but American Hassan Mead, who clipped him as he fell, missed out on qualification.

Read more: Rio Olympics 2016: Live blog, full events schedule and medals tables

"I always seem to get tangled up somehow but I managed to stay on my feet. It's quite nerve-wrecking getting back," he said. "I'm just getting back into the zone again. You take yourself away from it a bit and that's what I did I think, as soon as I'd won (the 10,000m). In the 10k I was on the edge and nothing could get in my way and then I was a little bit distracted so now I have to get back into the zone."

Farah just about retained his balance after his stumble to qualify safely in a heat won by Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet, who is likely to be one of his chief rivals in the final.

Gebrhiwet, 22, missed the 10,000m to concentrate his efforts on the shorter run after taking silver and bronze behind Farah over 5,000 in the last two World championships.

Gebrhiwet was the one he had in mind when discussing what lies between himself and that double. "These guys are ready for me," he said. "So I just have to get myself back in that frame of mind. I'm still hungry and I still want it."

Dejen Gebremeskel, who took silver to Farah's gold in the London Olympics and also skipped the 10,000 in Rio, is also likely to challenge in the final, and qualified safely from the second heat.

Meanwhile, Caster Semenya began her bid for what is set to be one of the most controversial gold medals of the Rio Olympics by breezing into the 800m semi-finals.

The South African, who found herself at the centre of a gender row following her victory at the 2009 World Championships and had to undergo gender testing before being cleared to return to competition, won her heat in one minute 59.31 seconds.

The 25-year-old has been cleared to run as a woman by a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling, but the controversy surrounding her eligibility remains.

Earlier this year Semenya ran the fastest time in the world since 2008, 1:55.33, and looks capable of challenging Czech Jarmila Kratochvilova's 33-year-old world record of 1:53.28.

"I am not focused on world records," she said. "I am focused on enjoying my championship and it's going to be a tough 800m. Times don't matter, medals do."

Team GB's Lynsey Sharp also qualified for the semi-finals, finishing well to win her heat in 2:00.83. Team-mate Shelayna Oskan-Clarke went through as a fastest loser.

Great Britain's women's hockey team reached their first final with a superb 3-0 win over New Zealand. Alex Danson's double and Helen Richardson-Walsh's penalty stroke means they face the Netherlands tomorrow.

Belfast Telegraph

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