Rio2016: Mo Farah makes history by winning 10,000m gold
Mo Farah became the first British track and field athlete to win three Olympic gold medals as he retained his 10,000m title with a thrilling victory in Rio.
The 33-year-old overcame a mid-race fall and powered clear of the field in the final 100m to win in 27 minutes five seconds.
Kenya’s Paul Tanui took silver, with Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola in third.
Farah returns to the track on Wednesday as he begins the defence of the 5,000m title he also won at London 2012.
“I’ve won an Olympic gold for three of my children,” he said. “Now I’d like to win the 5,000m gold for my little boy.”
Should he win that race, Farah will become the first man since Finland’s Lasse Viren in 1976 to retain two Olympic distance titles.
He has already achieved the world double-double, having successfully defended his 10,000m and 5,000m titles in Beijing last year.
Farah looked comfortable at the back of the field in Rio, choosing his moment to pick his way through the pack.
His hopes briefly looked in danger when he was accidentally tripped by training partner Galen Rupp with 16 laps to go, but he recovered to surge past Tanui on the home straight.
“I wasn’t going to let it go,” he said. “I got up quickly. I thought about my family. It made me emotional. I thought ‘get through, get through’. I believed in myself.”
Farah’s compatriots Andy Vernon and Ross Millington finished 25th and 31st respectively.
‘Simply wonderful’ – what they said
Olympic silver medallist and former world champion Steve Cram: “The manner of his victory was a familiar one, but this takes him into a place where no other British athlete has been.
“It was simply wonderful distance running from Mo Farah. He tripped up, fell, and still won and did it the only way Mo Farah could do.”
Former British 10,000m Olympic bromze medallist Brendan Foster said: “The plan that we’ve read about and listened to the Kenyans talk about didn’t unfold, Mo was tested in the latter stages of the race but that was absolutely brilliant.
“The greatest distance runners of all time – he is now keeping them company.”
BBC Sport’s chief sports writer Tom Fordyce: “Not since the 10,000m at the Worlds in Daegu five summers ago have we seen Farah behind in a major track final.
“However this man, who joins the most select of elite groups in successfully defending an Olympic 10,000m title, refuses to be beaten – by a rival ahead with 150m to go, by a fall, by anyone in a global final in eight attempts. And there may yet be more to come.”