Action on the track and in the field had earlier been overshadowed by Russian athletics icon Yelena Isinbayeva’s controversial comments over her apparent support of Russia’s anti-gay law.
But Farah was on hand to dispel any lingering fall-out at the Luzhniki Stadium, outfoxing the fast-paced Kenyan team tactics to become the second man to achieve the double of world and Olympics 5,000 and 10,000 metres titles.
Farah, who won an emotional double gold at the Olympics last year in the Somalia-born athlete’s adopted home city of London, clocked 13min 26.98sec to emulate Kenenisa Bekele’s double-double at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2009 Berlin worlds. “It’s something I have worked very hard for. I was thinking about the kids and being away from them for so long,” said Farah, who trains under Alberto Salazar in Portland, Oregon.
Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce threw down the gauntlet for teammate Bolt by becoming the third athlete to achieve the women’s world sprint double. The 26-year-old, who had reclaimed her 100m title on Monday, again dominated the race, with three-time champion Allyson Felix of the United States pulling up injured not even halfway through. In another first, African athletes claimed medals in the event, Ivorian Murielle Ahoure adding silver to her 100m silver and Nigerian Blessing Okagbare taking bronze, having already won long jump silver. Two-time defending champion Usain Bolt’s bid to seal a third successive world 200m title advanced smoothly as he coasted to victory in his semi-final in a comfortable 20.13sec. “I will have a good day’s rest and go into the final and get it done,” said Bolt, another gold for whom would push him one step further to equalling the present mark of eight world gold medals won by retired American duo Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson.
Off the track, Russian pole vault star Isinbayeva was the centre of a backlash from activists and fellow track and field legends after appearing to back Russia’s controversial new anti-gay law and saying competitors at the Sochi Winter Olympics should respect it.
Hruncakova and Snigur in fine form as Gulf region's oldest tournament for women opens