ZURICH – Somali-born Mo Farah brought his track career to an end in the most fitting fashion, producing a dramatic 5 000m victory at the Weltklasse Zurich on Thursday, the first of two 2017 IAAF Diamond League finals.
It was classic Farah and couldn’t have been scripted better, a performance athletics fans around the world have come to expect from the two-time double Olympic and world champion, with the Briton emerging triumphant from a scrappy home stretch brawl that left a small pile of bodies on the ground in his wake.
Biding his time near the middle of the pack in the early stages, Farah worked his way to the front with about 1 400m remaining, taking turns at the lead with Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed.
He positioned himself in front at the bell with Ethiopians Muktar Edris, the world champion, and Yomif Kejelcha shadowing him closely.
Paul Chelimo of the US joined the melee over the final half lap, turning the race into a four-man skirmish over the final 200m.
Farah fought valiantly down the final straight, fighting off or charging back every move his opponents threw his way.
Sprinting towards the line, eyeballs out and grimacing, he held firm, even in the blanket finish, to take the win in 13:06.05, just 0.04 ahead of Edris and Chelimo, who was later disqualified for obstruction.
“It was important to go out with a victory,” Farah told the crowd, who were still on their feet clapping and paying tribute, several minutes after the race. “It’s every athlete’s dream to go out this way.”
“But it was hard work,” he added later. A job that was rewarded with his first Diamond Trophy.