Mo Farah Ends British Drought in Great North Run

Updated: 07 September 2014 20:48 IST

Mo Farah, who missed the Commonwealth Games but won dual gold at the European championships, became the fist British international to win the Great North run since Steve Kenyon in 1985.

Mo Farah Ends British Drought in Great North Run
Mo Farah celebrates after winning the men's Great North run. © AFP

British track great Mo Farah became the first home runner to win the men's Great North Run race since Steve Kenyon in 1985 as he won a thrilling duel with Kenyan and former training partner Mike Kigen in Newcastle on Sunday.

The 31-year-old 5,000 and 10,000 metres Olympic champion -- second to Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele in the race last year -- had been content to play second fiddle to Kigen throughout most of the race as they set a pace which proved too much for Ethiopia's Olympic and world marathon champion Steven Kiprotich and his compatriot Tariku Bekele.

However, Farah, who missed the Commonwealth Games earlier this year after he collapsed because of a poisoned tooth but bounced back to win dual gold at the European Championships, went to the front as they entered the last kilometre of the race run over the half marathon distance and although Kigen tried to come back at him he had enough left in the tank to hold on.

Both were given the same time of 1 hour dead which is a personal best for Farah.

"It's great to finish the season with a victory and a great time," Farah told the BBC.

"I had to dig deep as Kigen is a great athlete. He just kept pushing and pushing and I had to find more. We both share the same manager and the plan was to set a fast enough pace so we dropped the others.

"However, it didn't get any easier after that as Kigen kept pushing. I was really surprised. However, I am very happy as I didn't think I could run as fast a time as that."

Farah, who plans to spend 10 days holidaying on British entrepreneur Richard Bransons's private island Necker, said his main aim next year would be the world championships in Beijing.

"It is too soon to say whether I will attempt the double (he holds both world titles) but my main target will be the 10km."

Kiprotich ran on in the latter stages to take third while Bekele finished fourth.

In the women's race Kenya's Mary Keitany showed no signs of rustiness after taking time off to have a baby as she stormed home clear to win.

The 32-year-old 2012 London Marathon champion -- who was only fourth in the Olympic version later that year in London -- set a new race record of 1hr 05min 39sec bettering by a second the old mark held by Britain's Paula Radcliffe.

Fast improving British runner Gemma Steele produced an eye-catching performance in taking second in a new personal best taking several notable scalps in the process in the shape of Olympic champion Tiggy Gelani, who was third, and this year's London Marathon champion Edna Kiplagat.

Topics : Athletics
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