• London 2012 - Athletics

Farah caps golden night for Team GB

ESPN staff
August 4, 2012

Great Britain claimed three gold medals on an historic night in the Olympic Stadium as Mo Farah became the first Briton to win an Olympic long distance title.

Medal Table

On the greatest night in the history of British athletics, Farah capped a memorable hour in which Jessica Ennis had been crowned heptathlon champion and Greg Rutherford had claimed a shock gold medal in the long jump.

Farah sprinted clear to claim victory in a time of 27:30.42 to finish ahead of training partner Galen Rupp, while defending champion Kenenisa Bekele could only manage fourth behind his younger brother Tariku.

The world 5,000m champion atoned for his defeat in last year's 10,000m World Championship final when he was beaten in a sprint finish by Ethiopia's Ibrahim Jeilan.

Roared on by a fiercely patriotic home crowd, Farah survived a physical race as his rivals jostled for position, and he did not panic as he fell off the pace in the early stages.

With 12 runners still in contention with two laps remaining, Farah made his move just before the bell, and never relinquished his lead as he held his nerve to claim an historic victory.

Dai Greene survived a major scare as he kept his hopes of adding Olympic gold to his world and Commonwealth titles alive as he scraped into the men's 400m hurdles final.

Greene looked to be cruising in the opening stages of the first semi-final, but found himself well behind the leaders coming into the home straight and was unable to close the gap as he finished fourth in a time of 48.19.

Dai Greene finishes fourth in the 400m hurdles semi-final © Getty Images

Cuba's Felix Sanchez, the 2004 champion, rolled back the years to win the first semi-final with a season's best time of 47.76, while Jehue Gordon secured the second automatic qualification spot ahead of Kerron Clement in third.

With Greene needing to secure progress as one of two fastest losers, the Welshman, who was bidding to become the first Briton since Sally Gunnell to win all four major titles - Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth, he faced a nervous wait to learn the outcomes of the other two semi-finals.

However, there was huge relief when the subsequent races, won by his rival Javier Culson and American Michael Tinsley, saw nobody overhaul Clement and Greene as the two fastest losers.

There was heartbreak for Greene's team-mate Jack Green, who pulled up in the second heat after clattering a hurdle on the back straight, while Rhys Williams missed out on a place in the final after finishing fourth in 49.63.

On a night when Britain grabbed three gold medals inside the Olympic Stadium, Britain's only defending champion Christine Ohuruogu fired a statement of intent with a powerful 400m semi-final performance.

Ohuruogu, who is hitting peak form at the perfect time, ran a season's best time of 50.22 to power into the final, but team-mates Shana Cox (52.58) and Lee McConnell (52.24) missed out.

Meanwhile, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce defended her Olympic 100m title in style as she blazed to victory in 10.75 seconds. The Jamaican edged out world champion Carmelita Jeter as she became the first woman since Gail Devers in 1996 to win back-to-back sprint titles. Fellow Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown took bronze in 10.81m.

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