ZURICH (Reuters) – Mo Farah won the final track race of his career by the skin of his teeth on Thursday, clinching a dramatic 5,000 meters win after three chasing rivals collided with each other in the last couple of meters.
World champion Muktar Edris, who beat Farah at the World Championships in London two weeks ago, was among the trio left sprawled on the track in the Briton’s wake as Farah dived over the line.
With quadruple Olympic and six-time world champion Farah leading going into the final straight, Ethiopian Edris came powering through and appeared set to snatch victory on the line.
But Edris tripped after being clipped on the shoulder by Paul Chelimo as the American tried to force his way through a gap and he in turn bowled over Yomif Kejelcha, another Ethiopian, on the outside.
Chelimo stumbled over the line in second and Edris’s momentum took him over in third.
Britain’s greatest racer — and perhaps the best the world has seen too after 10 global title wins — will take to the roads next season to run marathons.
Farah stayed on Edris’s shoulder for almost the whole race as they gradually moved up to the field, determined not to be outsmarted by his rivals.
“It’s amazing to come away with a win today,” Farah told reporters.
“I’ve been resting up and watching Edris, what tactics he normally uses, studying, working out and tonight the game plan was to sit on him and make him do a lot of the work,” he added.
“Going into the last lap, the plan was not to give anyone an inch, and that’s what I did.”
“I will really miss it but everything must come to an end sometime.”
There was plenty of drama elsewhere, not least in the 400 meters which was won by Botswana’s Isaac Makwala who was barred from the same event in London by the IAAF after falling ill despite the athlete saying he was fit to run.
Olympic champion Ruth Jebet, fifth in London, ran the second-fastest time in history in the women’s 3,000 meters steeplechase, the Bahraini winning in 8:55.29, nearly 20 seconds ahead of fourth-placed world champion Emma Coburn of the United States.
Justin Gatlin, who upstaged Usain Bolt in the Jamaican’s final 100 meters in London, was fourth in his race, won by Britain’s Chijindu Ujah in 9.97 seconds.
Dafne Schippers, world champion in the 200 meters, was also fourth as Shaunae Miller-Uibo produced a late surge over the last few meters to win in a Bahamas record time of 21.88 seconds. Olympic champion Elaine Thompson was second.
Norway’s Karsten Warholm, a surprise world champion in the 400 meters hurdles, was upstaged by Kyron McMaster of British Virgin Islands after he faltered at the eighth barrier.
Timothy Cheruiyot, silver medalist in London, won the men’s 1,500 meters while world champion and fellow Kenyan Elijah Manangoi was third.
There were no surprises, however, in the women’s 800 meters where South African Caster Semenya powered into the lead with around 200 meters left to win comfortably.
Other world champions who celebrated their triumphs in style included Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim who won the high jump with 2.36 meters and Sam Kendricks of the United States who took the pole vault with 5.87 meters.
Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Clare Fallon