• London Olympics 2012

Farah 'might not have won without crowd support'

ESPN staff
August 5, 2012

Mo Farah believes he would not have won Olympic gold in the 10,000m if not for the vocal support of the crowd inside the Olympic Stadium.

Farah, 29, was roared home by the capacity crowd as he clinched victory shortly after Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford had ensured it would be a memorable night for British athletics - becoming Britain's first ever winner in a long distance Olympic event in the process.

The world champion over 5,000m - who will also go for victory in that event later in the week - paid tribute to the crowd for their help in getting him to the finish line, before revealing that it was the best moment of his life.

"If it wasn't for the crowd it wouldn't have happened," Farah said. "They give you that lift, that boost, and it was just incredible.

"A lot of people said having an Olympics in London would bring a lot of pressure. Obviously there is pressure, but sometimes you can't think about that and you just have to use the crowd. I think every one of us used the crowd, and I think that made the difference."

He added: "I had to hold my head and think, 'Am I really the Olympic champion now?' It is the best day of my life. It doesn't get any better than this.

"It's something I've been working so hard far, so many miles. Long-distance running is a lonely event and if you don't put in the work, you don't get anything out of it."

There was extra delight for Farah, as his training partner Galen Rupp clinched silver. Their coach, Alberto Salazar, insisted he always expected the pair to finish first and second, despite the threat of Ethiopia's Bekele brothers and other African runners.

"I'll be honest, I thought we were going to get one-two," Salazar said. "I know that Mo's the best distance-runner in the world and I know that Galen's just a step behind him."

While Ennis confirmed on Sunday morning that she will not be trying to win an individual 100m hurdles gold medal during these Games, long jump victor Greg Rutherford is already setting his sights on his next gold - looking to defend his title in Rio de Janeiro in four years' time.

Greg Rutherford was another winner on Saturday © PA Photos

Rutherford, who won gold with a jump of 8.31m, fancies his chances of becoming a three-time champion.

"I want to go through to Rio and become a double Olympic champion, then maybe keep going until I'm 33 and become triple Olympic champion," said the 25-year-old from Milton Keynes. "You have to have confidence in yourself."

Of his own performance on Saturday, he added: "I expected to jump much further than that. Technically, I was very poor. Once I get it together, people better watch out because I'm going to jump very, very far. The sky's the limit.

"I want to win everything. Why not?"

Team GB chef de mission Andy Hunt paid tribute to the remarkable achievements of the three victors - and the other medallists on a memorable day for the hosts.

"What unfolded over the course of a single day has been years in the making," Hunt said. "It is a day unlike any that has been seen in the modern history of British Olympic sport and it is a day our country will never forget.

"Most importantly, it is a day for the athletes - the Olympic champions - and the millions of supporters throughout our country who have lifted them on their shoulders and helped make this possible."

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