But it was harder than last year: Farah admitted so himself. The teeth had to be gritted and clamped with 100m to go as greyhounds from Kenya and Ethiopia sniffed out and scampered after their prey. His battle roar was also delayed until moments before the line, when his lungs demanded release and he finally accepted that victory was safe. Then came the familiar gestures: eyes kindled and hands open in astonished glee before his body flopped on the track, tension escaping like air from a popped balloon after a job well done.
“I never thought in my career I would achieve something like this,” said Farah, who won 5,000m gold in 13min 26.98sec, a step ahead of Gebrhiwet and Koech who took silver and bronze in the same time of 13:27.26sec. “This was very tough – it was all left to the last two laps and I had a lot of pressure. It was hard this year, harder than last year.”