LONDON — The medal ceremony for the men’s 5,000 meters was scheduled for 10:34 p.m. Saturday night. But it was pushed back, becoming the closing moment of the London Olympics track and field competition. And it was an emotional end as British runner Mo Farah stood on the top step of the podium as the entire Olympic Stadium belted out “God Save the Queen.”
After a slow race, Farah sprinted away on the last lap and held on for gold, finishing in 13 minutes and 41.66 seconds. He celebrated by doing sit-ups on the track, a variation of the push-ups Usain Bolt did after winning the 200. It was the slowest winning time since the 1968 Mexico Olympics and more than a minute off the world record. Ethiopia’s Dejen Gebremeskel earned silver in 13:41.98, followed by Kenya’s Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa in 14:42.36 for bronze.
The slow times mattered little to the predominantly British crowd who watched Farah make history winning the 5,000 and 10,000. Farah joins distance-running greats like Emil Zatopek and Lasse Viren as one of only seven men to win the long distance double at an Olympic Games.
“It’s unbelievable” said Farah. “Two gold medals, who would have thought that?’’
American Bernard Lagat, 37, finished in fourth place in 13:42.99. Farah’s training partner, Galen Rupp, who took silver in the 10,000, finished seventh in 13:45.04.