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World Athletics Championships 2013: Mo Farah Secures Grand Legacy with Double

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 16:  Mo Farah of Great Britain celebrates winning gold in the Men's 5000 metres final during Day Seven of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium at Luzhniki Stadium on August 16, 2013 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Richard LangfordCorrespondent IAugust 16, 2013

Friday at the World Athletics Championships, Mo Farah secured a place in the pantheon of great long-distance runners. 

After a thrilling finish in Moscow, the 30-year-old won the 5,000-meter run in a time of 13 minutes and 26.99 seconds. 

This race had a fairly slow pace, which played into Farah's tireless feet. He has a prodigious finishing kick.

Farah hung with the pack until the 600-meter mark when he took the lead. 

As the runners neared the finish line, it looked for a moment like Kenyan Isiah Kiplangat Koech would chase Farah down. However, Farah had one last burst around the 60-meter mark and took the victory. 

This was his fifth global outdoor title, which is an impressive accomplishment in itself. However, that is not the most noteworthy fact he adds to his resume. 

Combine this win with his title in the 10,000-meters last Saturday in Moscow, and he is only the second man in history to win the double at both the Olympics and the world championships—matching the feat accomplished by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele.

This amazing accomplishment warrants Farah's inclusion into the conversation with the greatest distance runners of all time. While there are those who will point to Farah's lack of a world record keeping him from this accomplishment, his ability to dominate these two different events over the past year must make up for that. 

Also, Farah isn't just in the conversation for one of the greatest distance runners, but the greatest Briton athlete ever. 

As The Independent's Matt Majendie notes, politician and former track and field Olympic medalist Sebastian Coe "claimed the double would make Farah the greatest British athlete of all time."

Also, the BBC's and former long-distance runner Brendan Foster agrees with Coe. They both have a strong case.

Farah entered the world championships tied for Britain's all-time lead in championship titles at three. He was tied with triple jumper Jonathan Edwards and decathlete Daley Thompson. Along with his titles at the Olympics, Farah had previously won the 5,000-meters in Daegu in 2009. 

Now, in less than a week, he has almost doubled the previous high mark, as he sits with five.

All of this means that the decorated Farah is not going to be just remembered as a great long-distance runner, but also an absolute legend Britain's sporting history. 

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