• European Championships

Gold rush for Britain as Farah secures distance double

ESPN staff
August 17, 2014
Mo Farah is now the reigning 5,000m and 10,000m champion at European, World and Olympic level © Getty Images

Mo Farah secured a distance double in Zurich after cruising to victory in the 5,000m final on a remarkable day that saw Great Britain close out the European Championships with five more gold medals.

Greg Rutherford secured gold in the long jump © Getty Images

All in all, Britain's tally was taken to 12 gold medals, with Greg Rutherford winning the long jump while there were victories for the men's 4x400m relay team and both the women and the men in the 4x100m.

It is the nation's best ever performance at the event, with Britain finishing top of the medals table for only the third time in European Championships history.

After taking his second gold this week in Zurich, Farah is now the reigning 5,000m and 10,000m champion at European, World and Olympic level.

Farah also becomes the most decorated individual athlete at the European Championships with five gold medals throughout his career.

Andy Vernon, who took silver in the 10,000m, had to settle for bronze this time around.

"There have been some down times this year but I've got over it," Farah told BBC Sport.

Adam Gemili, Richard Kilty, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and James Ellington pose with their gold medals after their 4x100m relay win © Getty Images

"Training has gone well in the last couple of weeks and that gave me confidence. History is important to me and it feels great to make my country proud."

Later on Sunday, Rutherford added European gold to his Commonwealth and Olympic long jump titles.

"It is a real sense of relief because I was seeing how well the British team was doing and everybody was saying to me, 'You have to go out and do it.' I was so pleased I could," said Rutherford.

The gold medals kept coming, with Conrad Williams, Matt Hudson-Smith, Michael Bingham and Martyn Rooney winning the men's 4x400m in two minutes and 58.80 seconds.

Ashleigh Nelson, Jodie Williams, Asha Philip and Desiree Henry celebrate their 4x100m victory © Getty Images

Britain's 4x100m women's relay team of Asha Philip, Ashleigh Nelson, Jodie Williams and Desiree Henry also sealed victory in 42.24sec to break a national record that had stood for 34 years.

"I'm so happy," said Philip. "We've been talking about the record for so long and wanted it so badly. I am so proud of these girls because we worked so hard for it. We deserve this, we fought for it."

The men's 4x100m team followed suit, with newly crowned 200m champion Adam Gemili, Richard Kilty, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and James Ellington seeing off Germany and France. It was the first time that a British men's relay team had successfully handed off the baton in six major championships.

Elsewhere, Eilidh Child, Kelly Massey, Shana Cox and Margaret Adeoye took bronze in the women's 4x400m relay, with France winning gold.

Scotland's Chris O'Hare won bronze in the 1,500m with Frenchman Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad - who was stripped of steeplechase gold for taking off his vest - taking gold.

Martyn Rooney, Matthew Hudson-Smith, Michael Bingham and Conrad Williams celebrate winning 4x400m relay gold © Getty Images
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