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Mo Farah completes distance ‘double-double’

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Note: Updated to include Paul Chelimo’s disqualification and subsequent reinstatement 

Gold: Mo Farah (Great Britain)
Silver: Paul Chelimo (United States)
Bronze: Hagos Gebrhiwet (Kenya)

Mo Farah is to distance running what Usain Bolt is to sprinting. 

Farah confirmed his status as the greatest distance runner of this generation by winning the 5000m gold medal Saturday night in Rio. He now has 5000m and 10,000m gold medals from both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. 

After crossing the finish line in 13 minutes, 3.30 seconds, Farah dropped to his knees and kissed the track. He later did his signature “Mobot” pose, forming the letter “M” over his head with his arms. Before the race, he took a selfie with Bolt, who was receiving his ninth Olympic gold medal. 

Farah joined Finland’s Lasse Viren as the only runners who have swept the 5000m and 10,000m gold medals at back-to-back Olympics. Viren accomplished the “distance-double” in 1972 and 1976.

Paul Chelimo won the silver medal, finishing .60 seconds after Farah. Chelimo, a member of the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program, became the first U.S. man to win an Olympic medal in the event since 1964. 

After doing celebratory lap, Chelimo was told that he had been disqualified for running inside the track. Upon further review, he was reinstated. Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris, who crossed the finish line fourth, was not as fortunate and remains disqualified. 

Kenya’s Hagos Gebrhiwet was the bronze medalist. 

Bernard Lagat finished sixth but moved up to fifth after Edris’ disqualification. Lagat, 41, is the oldest U.S. runner to have competed at an Olympics. 

Hassan Mead was 11th for the United States. He came very close to not being allowed to run in the final after falling in the qualifying round. USA Track and Field (USATF) filed a protest on behalf of Mead, stating that he had been impeded by Farah, but the protest was denied. USATF appealed the decision, but the appeal was also denied. Then USATF found new video evidence, and the appeal was accepted.

Farah defended his 10,000m title last Saturday, despite tripping and falling during the race.

Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot won the women’s 5000m gold medal Friday night. Fellow Kenyan Hellen Obiri earned the silver medal. 

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