Back in 2013 we posted about Mo Farah’s achievements in winning the 5,000m/10,000m double at the London Olympics.
The post served to bring to light the modern era of excellent middle distance runners and mentioned the exploits of Morceli, El Guerrrouj, Gebrselassie and Bekele.
Since then, Farah has gone on to win a second 5000/10000 double gold in Rio, leap-frogging Bekele’s bag of 3 Olympic Gold and a Silver. The point that was made in the article at the time, when Farah was fresh off his London games victories, was that his times overall compared to the generation of runners from 10-15 years previous were still slightly behind.
Bekele remains the 5,000m and 10,000m world record holder. Farah has not advanced his times since 2011, (before London), and holds only a few European and British records overall. Of course middle distance races are often tactical affairs but Farah does not have a top 10 time and Bekele has 7 races faster than Mo Farah’s best 10,000m time and 10 races better than his best 5,000m time.
There is no doubt that Farah is a tremendous racer, but in raw output we must remember the performance of Kenenisa Bekele whose times may stand for quite a while yet. If you didn’t see Farah run in Rio, watch the highlights below. And don’t forget to spare a thought to Finnish runner Lasse Viren, the only other athlete to complete the double-double 5,000/10,000m Olympic wins.