DAEGU, South Korea (AP) — Mo Farah held off a late charge by Bernard Lagat of the United States to win the men's 5,000 meters Sunday at the world championships.
"The race came down to a sprint finish and I'm glad I took it," Farah said. "When you come so close to gold, you want that gold. You do everything you can."
Farah had to settle for the silver in the 10,000 last weekend when he was overtaken by Jeilan Ibrahim of Ethiopia on the final stretch.
He wasn't going to let that happen in the 5,000.
"Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of Ibrahim (in) the 10,000," Farah said. "I had to work everyone out and I knew it would come down to a sprint finish and I just made sure I had something left."
Farah won in 13 minutes, 23.36 seconds. Lagat was second, 0.28 seconds back. Imane Merga originally finished third but was later disqualified for stepping off the track, giving the bronze medal to Ethiopian teammate Dejen Gebremeskel, who finished in 13:23.92.
Farah started out slow in Sunday's race but moved up after 3,600 meters, closing the gap on leader Abera Kuma of Ethiopia.
Lagat, who won silver two years ago and was the 2007 champion, joined Farah in the lead after 4,000 meters.
With two laps to go, Farah moved into the lead by himself and looked to be in control until Lagat came outside of the two Ethiopians and made a late sprint with 80 meters remaining, almost catching Farah at the finish line.
"It turned out to be a good race for me," Lagat said. "I tried to put myself into a good position for the long kick but I got kind of blocked. When I got out, it was too late to get ahead."
After the race, Farah fell to his knees and kissed the track before doing a victory lap with the British flag draped over his shoulders.
The next big step for Farah will be representing his country at next year's London Olympics.
"I'm looking forward to it," Farah said. "To have an Olympics on your doorstep will be amazing. You can't doubt the field. You've just got to keep doing what you are doing and hopefully stay injury free."
Defending champion Kenenisa Bekele withdrew from the race after dropping out of the 10,000. Bekele had been injured for most of the past two years and did not look fit last Sunday.
Isiah Koech of Kenya, who is only 17, made an impressive debut at the worlds, finishing fourth in 13:24.95.
But it was Farah who became a long-distance star this week.
"I just want to enjoy this moment for now," Farah said. "I'll go home and celebrate with friends and family. I'm glad I made the choice to switch from football to athletics."