23 Aug 2015

Farah into the history books

10:50 am on 23 August 2015

British runner Mo Farah has won an unprecedented sixth consecutive global track distance title on the opening day of the world championships in Beijing.

Farah etched his name in the pantheon of middle distance running greats by defending his 10,000 metres crown.

He's now bettered the likes of Ethiopian legends Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie.

Mo Farah of Great Britain celebrates after a
10000m final win at a Moscow meet in 2013.

Mo Farah has made history in Beijing. Photo: Photosport

Since losing to Ibrahim Jeilan in the 10,000m at the 2011 worlds in Daegu, Farah rebounded to win the 5,000m in South Korea, and followed up with 5,000m-10,000m doubles at both the London 2012 Olympics and the 2013 world championships in Moscow.

Having now defended his title, he will have a chance to make it seven global titles in the 5,000m, scheduled for next Saturday.

Should Farah win that race, he would become the first man to complete a 5,000 and 10,000m double at consecutive world championships.

Bolt, Gatlin on track to clash in 100 final

Sprint rivals Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin sailed into the semi-finals of the men's 100 metres in Beijing.

Boos rang round a packed Bird's Nest in Beijing when Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, was introduced to the crowd over the loudspeaker.

But the 33-year-old American roared home in the fastest time of 9.83 seconds while defending champion Bolt, greeted with whoops at the stadium in which he took the world by storm at the 2008 Olympics, cruised home in a very comfortable 9.96.

The Jamaican world sprint champion Usain Bolt.

Usain Bolt Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"Overall it was good," said Bolt, greeted as a returning hero when he was introduced before his heat and nodding his head to a Bob Marley tune pumping around the iconic arena. "I wasn't trying to run fast. I was just trying to do as much as possible to get through the round.

Germany's Christina Schwanitz won the women's shot put gold medal in the absence of injured New Zealand champ Valerie Adams.

Schwanitz threw a best distance of 20.37 metres to take out the event.

Tauranga's Michael Cochrane missed out on the 400 metre hurdles semis with seventh in his heat but set a new national record of 49.58 seconds.

The 24-year-old needed a first-four placing to qualify for the semi-finals but after a good start, he clipped the eighth hurdle. Still, Cochrane now holds the New Zealand record in his own right after sharing it with his regular Waikato Bay of Plenty rival Cameron French at 49.72.

Cochrane said he went for it right from the start.

"It was a good race, I knew with the calibre of athletes going in, there is a lot more in the races this time around so I knew it was going to take a lot more than a 49.7 to get through so I went off at a pace that I thought was about 49 flat and I tried to hold and I couldn't quite. I was in a good spot with 100 metres to go and thought I might make the first four. I had my stride pattern that I wanted, but I hit hurdle eight which is my last hurdle with my not preferred leg but it didn't slow me down I managed to keep the momentum going," he said.

"So next season I'll work towards being able to get there in the same sort of time and carry on."

Cochrane said it was a great experience, finishing 28th overall, a big improvement on his 42nd ranking going into the event.

Aucklander Portia Bing is eighth after the first day of the heptathlon, with a personal best shot put of 13.60m and completing the first day of competition with a solid 200m time of 24.00.

This gave her a total of 3763 to climb up to eighth. The 22-year-old will compete in the long jump, javelin throw and 800 metres on day two.

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