Mo Farah retains 5,000m European Championships title

European Championships

  • Venue: Helsinki
  • Date: Wednesday, 27 June - Sunday, 1 July 2012

Coverage: Red Button & Online: Weds 27 June (15:50-18:45 BST), Thurs 28 (15:15-18:00), Fri 29 (16:00-20:35) and Sat 30 (17:00-20:35); BBC Two & Online: Sun 1 July (14:00-18:00).

Mo Farah retained his European Championships 5,000m title with a comfortable victory in Finland.

The Briton, who took gold at last year's World Championships, won in a time of 13 minutes 29.91 seconds.

Farah, 29, ran in Helsinki after pulling out of the 1,500m final at the Olympic trials in Birmingham as he targets gold at the London Games.

"Mo ran 53.69 for the last lap. He just wound it up and wound it up, as he does, and that was a very good rehearsal for what is to come in the Olympic Games. There was really no problem at all. He won't get many easier gold medals than that. It was pretty impressive and a pretty good field by European standards. A gold medal is a gold medal and when he looks back in years to come, it will be something to be proud of."

Germany's Arne Gabiuis was second in 13:31.83, followed by Turkey's Polat Kemboi Arikan in 13:32.63.

Farah was happy to settle in the pack in the opening stages of the race before challenging Arikan at 3,000m. He led for the remainder of the race, easily accelerating away from his nearest challengers in a sub-54sec final lap.

The Briton, who had been accused of being "disrespectful" to his fellow competitors  in the 1500m heats at last weekend's trials for celebrating 100m from the line and then choosing not to run the following day's final, was keen to stress that his race choices were made with his Olympic chances in mind.

"I got a little bit of stick for it but I didn't intend to disrespect anyone," Farah said after his Helsinki win.

"Sometimes you get carried away and do a celebration.

Mo Farah achievements

European Championship 2006: 5,000m silver

European Indoor Championship 2009: 3,000m gold

European Championship 2010: 10,000m gold; 5,000m gold

European Indoor Championship 2011: 3,000m gold

World Championship 2011: 10,000m silver; 5,000m gold

European Championship 2012: 5,000m gold

"I didn't do the 1500m final but it was just to save my legs and to come out here and get a good race and see where I am.

"I apologise to everyone who bought tickets [for the day of the 1500m final] in Birmingham, but this medal means more to me than doing the final and getting a medal there."

The Helsinki race was run at a fairly slow speed - Farah's winning time of 13:29.91 was more than half-a-minute slower than his personal best at 5,000m, which he ran in Monaco in July 2011 , and considerably slower than Kenenisa Bekele's world record time of 12:37.35.

Bekele won the gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 with a time of 12:57.82.

Farah, who became the first man in the 78-year history of the European Championships to retain his 5,000m title, has one more pre-Olympic race, a 5,000m at Crystal Palace on 13 July.