Mo Farah completes historic double-double with 5,000m win

Caster Semenya runs personal best to take 800m gold; American Matthew Centrowitz pulled off shock win in 1,500m

Britain’s Mo Farah  reacts after winning gold in the men’s 5000m final at the Olympic Stadium in Rio. Photograph:   Ian Walton/Getty Images

Britain’s Mo Farah reacts after winning gold in the men’s 5000m final at the Olympic Stadium in Rio. Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images

 

Britain’s Mo Farah won the Olympic 5,000 metres gold medal on Saturday to complete the distance double-double having won the 10,000 earlier in the week after claiming both titles in 2012.

After an electrifying final lap the 33-year-old sailed over the finish line and into the history books, delighting fans with his Mobot celebration before falling to his knees to kiss the track.

Farah is only the second man to achieve the feat after Finn Lasse Viren in 1972 and 1976.

Caster Semenya of South Africa took the gold medal in the 800 metres on Saturday in a personal best time of 1:55.28 seconds.

Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba finished in 1:56.49 seconds to claim the silver, her country’s second medal in any sport at the Olympics. Kenya’s Margaret Wambui took bronze in 1:56.89.

Semenya has dominated the 800m this season and there had been speculation she could take down Czech Jarmila Kratochvilova’s 1983 time of 1:53.28 – the longest standing athletics world record, set in an era when eastern European doping was rife.

After winning the silver medal in London four years ago, the 25-year-old South African has recorded three of the four fastest times in the world this year.

Semenya has been mired in a gender row since winning the world title in 2009. The Court of Arbitration for Sport last year suspended the rules of athletics’ world governing body, the IAAF, on ‘hyperandrogenism’, which causes unnaturally high levels of testosterone, meaning athletes on testosterone-suppressing medication, like Semenya, could come off it.

American Matthew Centrowitz pulled of a shock victory in the 1,500m final, stunning pre-race favourite Asbel Kiprop of Kenya to secure his country’s first gold medal in the event since 1908.

In the run-up to the Games few expected the 26-year-old to challenge for a medal as all the focus was on Kenya’s former Olympic champion Kiprop, who had won the last three world titles.

But after a pedestrian race that was won in a time 24 seconds outside world record pace, Centrowitz held off defending champion Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria to cross the line in 3:50:00.

Centrowitz, who won a world championship bronze in 2011 and silver in 2013, ran the final lap in 50.62 seconds to take gold in a field stacked with African talent.

Makhloufi, who also won silver in the 800m, had to settle for second place once again and Nick Willis of New Zealand snatched the bronze medal.

Kiprop, who has run the fastest time of the year, faded in the final lap to finish sixth.

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