By Tom Fordyce BBC chief sports writer at the Olympic Stadium
Britain’s Mo Farah joined the sporting greats and produced an unforgettable crescendo to London’s Olympics as he added 5,000m gold to his 10,000m title.
In an almost unreal atmosphere inside the Olympic Stadium, Farah went to the front at 600m and was roared down the home straight and into the history books.
“Working with [new coach] Alberto Salazar has been a tremendous advantage for Farah. He has physically developed as an athlete. Victory in the 10,000m gave him the confidence he could run with anyone in the world. He has got that confidence that he can make an adjustment in a race and still control it.”
Farah’s gold was Great Britain’s 27th gold medal of these Games.
He produced a last mile of four minutes 00.50 seconds and a final lap of 52.9 secs to hold off Ethiopia’s Dejen Gebremeskel and Kenya’s Thomas Longosiwa in 13 mins 41.66 secs.
It was not a fast race, but big finals seldom are, and the 29-year-old from west London got his tactics spot on.
Farah, whose wife Tania is due to give birth to twins in the next few weeks, said: “It’s unbelievable. I was feeling tired coming into the race. When I took the lead I knew I had to hold on to it.
“Those two medals are for my two girls – they can have one each. I don’t know what’s going on. Everything has a time and it’s all worked out. Two gold medals – who would have thought it?”
A week ago his stunning victory in the 10,000m final had provided a wonderful final act to “Super Saturday”.
This was always going to be a tougher contest still. Going into the race Farah was ranked only 11th in the world on season’s bests, while seven men who lined up had quicker personal bests.
But he had shown in winning 5,000m gold at the World Championships in Daegu that he could run a brutal 10,000m and recover sufficiently within a short period of time to take on the world’s best again.
Mo Farah joins the greats
Mo Farah is the seventh man to win 5,000m and 10,000m gold at the same Olympics:
2008 – Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia)
1980 – Miruts Yifter (Ethiopia)
1972 & 1976 – Lasse Viren (Finland)
1956 – Vladimir Kuts (Soviet Union)
1952 – Emil Zatopek (Czechoslovakia)
1912 – Hannes Kolehmainen (Finland)
As he came out on to the track, Farah triggered a deafening standing ovation from the capacity home crowd.
When he was announced to the crowd it was as if gold had already been won, thousands waving union jacks and bouncing up and down, and every section he passed on every lap roared as if he were on the final straight.
The early was pedestrian, the first five laps all 70 seconds or slower, and only when Gebremeskel went to the front with five laps to go did the pace pick up with a 60-second lap.
The noise was immense, Farah slotting in behind the Ethiopian in second with 1000m to go.
He pushed on to the front with a lap and a half left and was joined by his training partner Galen Rupp, but then went hard again at the bell and down the back straight to open a metre lead he would never relinquish.
British men had never before won an Olympic distance gold. Farah now has two in the space of one remarkable week, and joins greats like Emil Zatopek and Lasse Viren in the distance-running pantheon.