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Mo Farah wins 3,000m at Anniversary Games in London
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Mo Farah wins 3,000m at Anniversary Games in London

Willy Bantu

Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah enjoyed the perfect tune-up ahead of the World Championships with a trademark victory in the 3,000m at the Anniversary Games.

The 34-year-old was pushed hard by Spain’s Adel Mechaal, but his final-lap pace proved decisive as he came home in seven minutes 35.15 seconds.

Farah will attempt a third successive world 5,000m-10,000m double in August.

Elsewhere, Britain’s Laura Muir finished second in the women’s mile.

Muir came in behind Kenya’s Olympic silver medallist Hellen Obiri and also missed out on a new British record by six hundredths of a second at the Games, held as part of the Diamond League calendar.

Mo Farah wins 3,000m at Anniversary Games in London

Farah once again denied any wrongdoing on Thursday after computer hackers had revealed some of his blood samples had initially been flagged as suspicious. The samples were later cleared on further investigation by governing body the IAAF.

Despite a week of difficult questions, Farah was assured of an universally positive welcome at the London Stadium, the scene of his thrilling 2012 Olympic distance double and the venue for next month’s World Championships.

While Andrew Butchart kept in range of Farah to finish third in a new Scottish record, the cheers were for the Briton as he held off European indoor champion Mechaal in a season’s best time.

“I love London, there’s no place like home. I have to stay focused the next three weeks,” Farah said.

“Other things don’t distract me. I’m only in control of my legs. Never will I fail a test.

“I run year after year with joy and there’s not much more you can do. I love being on the podium, hearing the anthem and making people proud to be British.”

Mo Farah wins 3,000m at Anniversary Games in London

Mo Farah is still the man to beat over 5,000m and 10,000m at the World Championships, as much because of his aura as anything. The best in any sport tends to intimidate as well as dominate. When his competitors stand on the start line with him, his very presence is enough to frighten them into a loss of form.

We’ve seen time and again that tactically he’s a master. If he is not to be victorious at the Worlds, it will be a case where Mo Farah loses rather than somebody else wins.