Farah and Ennis-Hill shine on first day in Beijing

By Ros Satar

  • Mo Farah wins 10,000m gold
  • Jessica Ennis-Hill leads the Heptathlon at the Athletics World Championships in Beijing

BEIJING, CHINA – Great Britain are off to a great start after Mo Farah won the 10,000m crown in the first day of competition at the World Athletics Championships.

After a torrid summer where his name has been unfairly linked with the allegations against coach Alberto Salazar, Farah was finally able to let his running do the talking, scooping his sixth global distance title in a row.

It was a much happier memory for the Brit, who failed to qualify in the Beijing Olympic heats seven years ago, as he dug deep to defy the Kenyans and hitting a final lap time of 54.15s to edge Geoffrey Kamworor and Paul Tanui in the finishing straight.

Farah had dug in behind his rivals, sticking with them in the humid conditions as the pace started to fall away. He hit the front with just under five laps left and with around 500m to go he put in a surge to stay at the head of the field – despite a stumble as he passed a lapped athlete.

Brendan Foster, speaking on the BBC Sports website said: “That was a great race. Farah was tested, but he followed every move. It was a fantastic performance. He might end up being regarded as the greatest distance runner there’s ever been. The 5,000m will be difficult because there are heats to get through as well. Mo will hate the heats, because he’s run 25 laps here, and when you have to run 12-and-a-half laps in a heat for the 5,000m, your body doesn’t want to do that.”

The 5000m final is in a week’s time.

Meanwhile Jessica Ennis-Hill said she was ‘really happy’ to be in the lead after putting in solid performances in the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200m. She closed out the first day of competition with the long jump, javelin and 800m to follow on Day Two.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson leapt from ninth to second after day one, after putting in an great 200m performance.

Ennis Hill said: “I had that feeling of slight disappointment because I’m always comparing myself to my best, but I’m really pleased with the scores I have. I had some solid events, I feel there’s a lot more to come, which is frustrating, but generally really, really happy.”

She continued: “Kat’s doing amazing, she’s doing personal bests, so it’s definitely going to be a battle and hopefully we’ll get a couple of medals.”

“It’s been a good day one for me,” said Johnson-Thompson. “The high jump was a bit nerve wracking. I had a bit of a faulty run-up so I’m happy that didn’t all end in tears.”

Other results:

Nick Miller qualified for the men’s hammer final with a throw of 77.42m, but Mark Dry only managed a best of 73.87 and failed to qualify from the second pool.

Laura Muir and Laura Weightman are into Sunday’s semi-final of the 1500m.

Michael Rimmer just missed out on a place in the men’s 800m semi-finals by an agonizing tenth of a second and Kyle Langford finished seventh in the second heat.

The Saturday morning session will start at 8:30am (1:30am BST).

 

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