Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Athletics: Farah heads great one-two

Mo Farah became the first British man to win the European 10,000 metre title as he led home a brilliant one-two in Barcelona's Olympic Stadium last night.

Farah turned in a display of supreme confidence, bordering on arrogance, as he took gold in 28 minutes 24.99 seconds ahead of team-mate Chris Thompson.

The Somalia-born 27-year-old had finally hit the front in a slow race with five laps to go, but then beckoned Spain's Ayad Lamdassem through to take up the pace with just over three laps left.

Remarkably, a lap later Farah was so confident the race was his that he turned around to encourage Thompson, who was engaged in a battle with Italy's Daniele Meucci some 30m behind.

And the gambit paid massive dividends as Farah stormed clear with 350m to go and Thompson produced a rousing finish to overhaul Lamdassem and just hold off Meucci on the line, both athletes given the same time of 28:27.33.

Four years ago in Gothenburg Britain won just one gold medal in the entire championships, claiming the men's 4x100m relay on the final day of competition.

But Farah and Thompson were always expected to deliver, coming into the race separated by less than a second this year but more than 30 seconds quicker than anyone else in the field.

A delighted Farah, who won silver in the 5,000m four years ago, said: “That was amazing. “One-two has never been done before and it just feels so great to be here.”

World championship bronze medallist Jenny Meadows and the in-form Jemma Simpson also advanced to Friday's final of the women's 800m, but team-mate Marilyn Okoro missed out after finishing fourth in her heat.

Meadows proved she has fully recovered from recent calf and Achilles problems to clock 1:58.90, just one-hundredth of a second slower than both her seasonal best and the fastest qualifier, Russia's Svetlana Klyuka.

World champion Idowu easily surpassed the automatic qualifying distance of 16.75m with a first-round leap of 17.10, Douglas jumping 16.80m with his first attempt. Bernard and Parsons cleared 2.26m and 2.23m respectively in the high jump, with none of the competitors clearing the automatic height of 2.28m.

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