When Farah was mortal: the day in Daegu when Jeilan refused to die

The year was 2011 and, heading into the World Championships in Daegu, the best distance runner on the planet was undoubtedly Mo Farah. He had swept all before him since joining the Nike Oregon Project at the beginning of the year, improving immensely under the tutelage of Alberto Salazar. All year, Farah had been honing his speed and developing his strength to be able to conquer the world over 5,000m and 10,000m in Daegu, South Korea, at the World Championships.

Hitting the front with 650m remaining in the 10,000m, Farah then turned on the afterburners with 500 to run, and it looks for all the world that the race was over. As the Channel 4 commentator roars: “He’s gone for gold at the bell, he can almost taste success. He’s four metres clear, five metres clear. This is what he’s been practising…. Jeilan is in pursuit. Jeilan will not give in, and he’s starting to narrow the gap a little bit. Farah’s got to dig deep.”

Farah, indeed, had to dig very deep, but could he hold on? Just watch; this is a race you won’t regret reliving.



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Cathal Dennehy

Cathal Dennehy

Cathal Dennehy is a freelance journalist, a once-serious, now-retired athlete who writes for a number of international publications in the running industry. He has won two sports-writing awards, the Peter Ball Memorial Award in Ireland and the Wills Writing Award in the UK. Nationally, he previously worked for the Sunday Tribune, Irish Runner magazine and has written for the Sunday Independent, Irish Independent, the Guardian and The Independent in Britain. He is a regular contributor to Running Times, Runner's World, RunBlogRun and the IAAF website.
His banter levels are often poor, occasionally exceptional.

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