Farah on fire at Müller Anniversary Games

Mo Anniversary Games

Mo Farah (handicap -7.6) showed just why he is double Olympic and world champion as he stormed to Müller Anniversary Games 5,000m victory in 12.59.29, the fastest time in the world this year.

Farah is the only British man to have broken the 13 minute barrier, and he did it again on a wonderful July afternoon, roared on by an adoring British crowd. Running single file from the gun, the intent was clear as the pacemakers did a terrific job of setting the men on their way to a sub 13 clocking.

By 3,000m it was Farah versus the clock and that's where the going got tough. But with the help of the crowd the 5,000m and 10,000m champion showed what he was made of, running a last lap of 56 seconds to produce the perfect finale to a great weekend’s athletics.

“I got amazing support from the crowd - I just wanted to go for it. It was my last chance to run quick before Rio. I mean, I love this track, it means a lot to me. Not many people get a chance to compete in their home town and have so many memories of the place.

“Rio is right around the corner but it means a lot to get the win before going into those championships. I am in good shape but I have to keep my feet on the ground. Anything can happen in two and a half weeks, it is all about staying patient now.”

Farah wasn’t the only Brit on form though as Scotland’s Andrew Butchart (handicap -6.9) continued his rise to true world class status with a second place finish in 13.14.85. Running in a large chasing group the Scottish record holder ran a blistering last lap to overhaul a number of more experienced campaigners and win his first ever Diamond Race points.

“I have never experienced a crowd like this in my life - if I can experience that again in my lifetime I’ll be delighted. I have been at altitude for the last four weeks and know I am in shape; it gives you something of a boost and you feel like you can breathe easier. I want to make the final [in Rio] and I think the race could be something similar to that.”  

Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (handicap -2.1) prevailed in an enthralling three way tussle in the women’s 800m, staying strong in the closing 30 metres to move clear of Lynsey Sharp (handicap -2.6) and American Molly Ludlow. Coming off the bend it was Ludlow who lead, but first Sharp, fresh from a 1.57.75 run at the Monaco Diamond League a week ago, and then Oskan-Clarke edged past, with the latter breaking the tape in a season’s best of 1.59.46.

Afterwards the British Champion said: “It was great to win today; this is probably the biggest win of my career. I ran the race well and timed it well at the end. I was in form a few weeks ago but it just takes me a while to get my form out. I am confident of the shape I am in and this is a stepping stone for me.”

Habiba Ghribi looked in great shape as she fine tunes her Rio preparations; she took 3000m steeplechase victory in 9.21.35 ahead of Stephanie Garcia. Brit Rosie Clarke (handicap -0.4) ran a gutsy race to improve her personal best to 9.51.97, but unfortunately Lennie Waite (handicap 1.1) did not finish.

Results from this weekend’s Diamond League action can be found here: http://london.diamondleague.com/lists_results_london/