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Sunday , August 13 , 2017
 
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Farah denied a fairy-tale double by Muktar Edris

Dafne Schippers after winning 200m gold

London: Mo Farah's aura of invincibility after six years of unrelenting success was finally cracked in his very last major track race on Saturday as he lost his world 5,000 metres title to Ethiopia's Muktar Edris.

Seeking a fitting end to his matchless long-distance racing career before moving to marathon running, the 34-year-old Briton's bid for a fifth straight global 10,000/5,000m double was scuppered as he had to settle for the silver.

In a thrilling finale, Farah looked to be completely outgunned by three rivals only to fight back and snatch second place behind Edris, who clocked 13 minutes 32.79 seconds after a searing final lap.

In the dying metres, Farah shot down the inside to overhaul American Paul Chelimo and clock 13:33.22.

Kenyan-born Chelimo took the bronze in 13:33.30, while Farah's late burst also consigned another Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha to fourth place in 13:33.51.

Just as five years ago when he completed the first of his two Olympic distance doubles on the second Saturday of the programme to deafening acclaim in the same stadium, a 55,000 crowd roared on the home hero.

Yet there was only disappointment as, just like the anti-climax of Usain Bolt winning bronze in the 100 metres the previous weekend, Farah's farewell just fell short of the dream finale.

Australia's Sally Pearson completed one of the great sporting comebacks when she overcame two years of injury agony to win the world 100 metres hurdles title at the age of 30.

Pearson, world champion in 2011 and Olympic gold medallist in 2012, missed the last two seasons due to hamstring and achilles injuries and a badly broken wrist, but when she clocked 12.48 in the London Diamond League last month - her fastest time for five years - she realised she was in medal-contending form.

She did not need to go that fast on Saturday but barely noticed the clock as she posted 12.59 seconds, screaming "oh my God" repeatedly after crossing the line.

"I've worked so hard, I don't know what has just happened out there. I'm so tired, but I'm sure it will sink in soon," said Pearson, who also has Olympic and world silvers to her name.

Dawn Harper Nelson, who won gold at the 2008 Olympics and silver behind Pearson in 2012 and was one of four Americans in the final, took silver in 12.63 ahead of Germany's Pamela Dutkiewicz, who claimed a surprise bronze in 12.72.

American favourite Kendra Harrison, who set the world record in the London Stadium last year having missed out on Olympic selection, clattered too many barriers as she did in the semis and finished fourth in 12.7.

Maria Lasitskene became the first Russian to win a gold medal at the World Championships in London after successfully defending her high jump title on Saturday.

The 24-year-old, competing as an authorised neutral athlete, stretched her unbeaten streak to 25 competitions by clearing 2.03 metres to triumph in the London Stadium.

Having already secured gold, Lasitskene tried to beat the Russian national record and her own personal best by jumping 2.08m but she failed on all three attempts.

Yuliia Levchenko of Ukraine won her first major global medal by taking silver after clearing a personal best height of 2.01m, while Kamila Licwinko of Poland, who cleared 1.99m, won bronze.

On Friday, Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers held on to retain her world 200m title. Schippers, who won bronze in the 100m, roared off the bend into the final straight and looked as if she would coast safely home.

But the Dutchwoman began to tie up and only a savage dip at the line, that saw her clock 22.05 seconds, edged her past Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou by just three-hundredths of a second. It was Ta Lou's second silver after her efforts in the 100m won by American Tori Bowie, absent from the 200.

"I fought for that," said Schippers, who won 200m silver in the Rio Olympics. "I have worked so hard this year, so I am happy. It's so cool... Two times in a row is very special too."

Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas, who in the space of 20 metres fell from clear leader to finish fourth in the 400m, had the consolation of claiming bronze in 22.15secs.

For all the excitement of the sprint, the most dramatic race of Friday evening was the women's 3000m steeplechase.

It had everything, from one of the four Kenyans actually running past the first water jump to a fall to smart tactical racing that had the crowd on their feet. Olympic bronze medallist Emma Coburn finished the final 150 metres strongly for a first American steeplechase gold in a championships record 9min 02.58sec, with teammate Courtney Frerichs taking silver ahead of Kenya's defending champion Hyvin Jepkemoi. (Agencies)


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