Mo's golden glow
Almost exactly a week - to the last few minutes - after being agonisingly pipped to the World 10,000m title in the final few strides, Mo Farah did as Usain Bolt had the night before and turned first weekend heartbreak into a golden finale.
Last Sunday the head-on cameras showed Farah frozen on the finish line, eyeballs out on stalks, mouth grimacing, turning to his right in horror as Ibrahim Jeilan fought past him for gold.
Seven days later the image had been flipped on its axis. This time it was his great friend and rival Bernard Lagat in slow-motion agony, teeth bared and eyes popping, twisting his head to his left as Farah dipped through the line to take a glorious 5,000m gold.
It was a momentous victory for both man and nation. For Farah it marked a triumph over sore legs, blistered feet and still raw disappointment, the culmination of a journey that began when a PE teacher named Alan Watkinson spotted a skinny young kid hanging from the crossbar of the football posts at Feltham Community College in west London and called him down for a chat.
For Britain it was a medal that has been a long time coming, not only the biggest distance win by a European male since Ireland's Eamonn Coghlan at the Worlds in 1983 but the first long distance gold ever won by a British male at a global championships.
So how did Farah manage to pull it off - and just how impressive a feat was it?
"We had a chat the other day, and Mo was very aware of what went wrong in the 10,000m," reveals Steve Cram, world 1500m champion in 1983 and a close friend of Farah's for many years.
"He watched how Vivian Cheruiyot won the women's 5,000m on Friday, and decided that was the example of how he should run it here: go to the front at the bell, wind it up, never be passed.
"The difference was that he had a whole host of rivals on his back with a lap to go, but he still pulled it off.
"What Mo did there took real guts. He still trusted himself on that last lap, didn't go too early as it would have been so easy to do. That was the key difference between here and his defeat in the 10,000m: this time he wound it up gradually and kept something back for the final straight.
"It was perfect. For those tactics to work he had to make sure he held his position at the front on the back straight, and when they tried to get past him he repelled them all.
"You need to have real confidence to run as he did. There were seven or eight men in that field who believed they could out-kick him. To be out front as the target is to be under real pressure, and Mo dealt with it superbly."
This was a field packed with class - world champions, Olympic champions, European champions. How was Farah - who until last summer had never won a single championship track race - able to dominate them all?
"In some ways I'm surprised more didn't happen in the last few laps," admits Cram. "Two minutes 28 seconds for the last 1,000m of a championship 5,000m is not that fast, and the last lap was slower than in the 10,000m.
Farah becomes the first British athlete to win a long-distance World title. Photo: Reuters
"I was talking to an agent before the final who represents some of the African runners. I asked him whether they would try to mess Mo up - get in front of him, try to unsettle him.
"None of them did that, and that shows the effect he is now having on his rivals.
"Lagat and Mo have been chatting all week. I was convinced that from 600m out Lagat was going to be tracking Mo so closely that he'd virtually be inside his vest, but after being in exactly that position for most of the race he then let two or three athletes get between them on the back straight, and he couldn't recover.
"I think Lagat trusts his kick a little too much these days. He's been beaten this season, but maybe his racing brain is yet to adjust to what his body is now capable of doing."
Running through the pain of those blisters from last Sunday's showdown pales into insignificance compared to the privations Farah has already put himself through in search of World gold.
Returning from his honeymoon with new wife Tania, he realised he was short of training miles and left both wife and young daughter Rihanna at the airport to head into the mountains of Kenya and a brutal, basic training regime with the best distance runners in the world.
Then, at the start of this year, he moved his family thousands of miles from Teddington, Middlesex, to Beaverton, Oregon, to work with American distance coach Alberto Salazar.
"All athletes are seeking a formula that works," says Cram. "It's a complicated equation that involves your coach, your training group, your personal life. All those different elements have to gel for you to be at your best.
"Over the years Mo has taken steps in different directions, some of them forward, some of them back, all in search for that perfect formula.
"Alberto will be the first to say that this jump in class is not all down to him. He inherited an athlete who was 95% the finished product.
"But he has polished it up and added one key ingredient: confidence. Mo now believes he can beat anyone in the world, and he never thought that before."
This year Farah has been working with both a sports psychologist (Dr Darren Treasure) and the same biomechanists who used to work with 400m legend Michael Johnson.
"Alberto has got into the tiny details with him," says Cram. "He looks at Mo's tactics, at how he runs, at how his rivals run. He has structured his altitude training properly and he has structured his racing season around winning these big titles.
"Mo has been a great athlete since he was a kid. I can remember him coming on national junior cross country squads as a teenager. He wasn't the only one - talented kids do pop up like that - but it's what you do with it that matters."
WHAT THE VICTORY MEANS
"This display will change how 5,000m races are run when Mo's in the field," believes Cram. "The others will now be waiting to see what he can do - he's now controlling things, deciding when to put his foot down.
"But for the tiniest misjudgement, Mo would now be a double World distance gold medallist. And that would put him up there with the greats, with the Haile Gebrselassies and Kenenisa Bekeles.
"I've waited years to watch a moment like this. As Britons we're a nation of runners. Everyone watching or listening to that race can identify in some way with what Mo's done - with running a 10k, running a 5k.
"That's why - with respect to Jess Ennis and Phillips Idowu - people can relate to this gold medal in a slightly different way."
Throughout Farah's journey from young scamp on the streets of Mogadishu to beaming adult on top of the world, certain related figures have exerted a key influence upon him.
There is Watkinson, the PE teacher who first encouraged him to swap football for athletics; Paula Radcliffe, whose financial support enabled him to pay for the driving lessons that meant he could get to training sessions; Alan Storey, his coach at St Mary's College in Twickenham; Ricky Simms, the agent who first suggested he should house-share with a group of elite Kenyan athletes living together near Bushy Park in south-west London, and Cram, whose middle-distance races Farah admits to watching obsessively on YouTube.
All were at Farah's wedding last summer; all were cheering on around the world as Farah's rich talent finally came to fruition.
"From a personal point of view, not since I finished competing have I enjoyed watching a win so much," admits Cram. "When you've been there yourself it's an emotional thing, and I had a lump in my throat.
"At the bell you're thinking, oh no. I know that feeling you have in your stomach at that point - you know it's all going to kick off at that point, and you feel so sick!
"In the UK we all want middle and long distance success. We had that with Kelly Holmes, but with Kelly she was winning things over a long period.
"What's particularly pleasing with Mo is that he keeps improving. He keeps going up the rungs of the ladder.
"He has also changed as a person; his performances on the track have given him so much belief. To see a person you know change like that is a wonderful thing."
The London Olympics are less than 12 months away. Does Farah's victory here in the humid heat of Daegu mean he is now favourite for the biggest prize of them all?
"From a British point of view it gives me so much confidence for next summer," says Cram.
"I don't buy into this idea that going in to 2012 as a reigning world champion brings more pressure. All athletes need to win, and this will feed his confidence.
"Imagine what those other guys will now be thinking: 'Oh, we can't out-kick him, even after he's run a 10,000m.
"As long as he doesn't get hurt between now and the Olympics, he's going to be really hard to beat - really hard."