Things have gone off-kilter since the 31-year-old became just the second man in history to complete an Olympic and world “double-double” in the distance events. Farah was disappointed by his display at the London Marathon and frustrated further when illness forced him to miss the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Upon arriving in Zurich this week, he revealed the full extent of the health concerns which made him an absentee in Scotland – he said he had collapsed in his bathroom and had to be airlifted to hospital due to concerns over his heart. That illness gave him extra incentive to succeed in a competition which witnessed his long-distance breakthrough in 2010.
Then, in Barcelona, Farah achieved the first major double of his career and matched that feat with victory on the final day of the championships in Zurich.
Six weeks on from his health scare, Farah followed up last week’s 10,000 metres glory by winning gold in the 5,000m at the Stadion Letzigrund.
While Hayle Ibrahimov of Azerbaijan kept with him when he kicked just after the bell, there was no catching the Briton as he crossed the line in 14 minutes 05.82 seconds. Andy Vernon followed Farah home and added bronze to his silver in the 10,000m – success which took Great Britain’s medal haul to 20, breaking their previous European Championships record of 19 set in Barcelona four years ago.
Press Association, Sunday 17 August 2014