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Tanui bags silver as Farah defies fall to retain title

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Briton Mo Farah crosses the line to win the 10,000m race ahead of Kenya's Paul Tanui. PHOTO/NBC

Briton Mo Farah crosses the line to win the 10,000m race ahead of Kenya’s Paul Tanui. PHOTO/NBC

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 14- Kenya’s hope of dethroning Mo Farah as the 10,000m Olympic champion went up in smoke, only managing a silver through Paul Tanui with the Briton successfully defending his title winning the race in a time of 27:05.23.

Tanui came second in a season best time of 27:05.64 while Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola won the bronze after beating compatriot Yigrem Demalesh by a microsecond to finish in a time of 27:06.26.

Reigning World Half Marathon Champion Geoffrey Kamworor had hoped to be the man to take the title off Farah having beaten him in the World Half marathon championship in Cardiff early in the year, but he could only manage to finish a distant 11th in 27:31.94 having dropped off the leading pack with five laps to go.

The other Kenyan in the race, Bedan Karoki could only manage a seventh place finish after also dropping off in the sunset laps of the race.

The 33-year old Farah overcame a mid-race tumble, clipped on the ankles by his training partner Galen Rupp to burst out the race in the home stretch, beating Tanui who had lunged ahead at the bell.

The Somali-born athlete became the first British track and field star to win three Olympic gold medals.

Mo Farah competes in the final of the men's 10,000m being keenly watched by Kenya's Bedan Karoki. PHOTO/AGENCIES

Mo Farah competes in the final of the men’s 10,000m being keenly watched by Kenya’s Bedan Karoki. PHOTO/AGENCIES

He also became the sixth man to win two Olympic 10,000m gold medals. Most recently, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele won gold medals in 2004 and 2008, and fellow Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie  won the two previous gold medals

Kenya were hoping to win the 10,000m gold for the first time since the late Naftali Temu in 1968, but they could not maintain an early surge and control of the pace to go all the way, Farah running a tactical race to win.

Until about eight laps to go, Farah had sat at the back of the pack of the 34 athletes, being watched keenly by Karoki as the two other Kenyans Kamworor and Tanui kept within the top three.

The World and Olympic champion surged forward after six laps, being followed by Karoki who did not want him far off his sight with the race finally beginning to shape up.

Paul Tanui, Geoffrey Kamworor and Bedan Karoki charging up as Farah keenly follows. PHOTO/DAILYMAIL

Paul Tanui, Geoffrey Kamworor and Bedan Karoki charging up as Farah keenly follows. PHOTO/DAILYMAIL

Farah kept side by side of his training partner Rupp as they kept talking, probably churning out a tact to push the Kenyans and two Ethiopians off the medal brackets.

This side by side running and exchange of ideas nearly cost Farah, as he clipped his partner’s ankles and fell but managed to quickly rise back and move within touching distance of the leading pack, led by Tanui and Kamworor.

Karoki surged the pace up with eight laps to go, probably a tact to burn out Farah, well known for his trademark final kick. They went through lap number 17 in the fastest time yet of the race, completing it in 63.63.

Kamworor then took up the mantle of leading the race and with fresh memories of the tact employed by the Kenyan in Cardiff, Farah kept within two meters of the Kenyan whom he beat to the world title last year in Beijing.

The World Half Marathon champion however could not keep up with the pace and he began to fall off the leading pack, memories of him and Karoki jogging off the Kenyan trials replaying as the race now slipped off his hands.

Kenya's Paul Tanui gallops behind Farah in the final straight of the race. PHOTO/DAILYMAIL

Kenya’s Paul Tanui gallops behind Farah in the final straight of the race. PHOTO/DAILYMAIL

Farah went into the lead for the first time in the race with two-and-a-half laps to go with Tanui following him up as the two Ethiopians kept third and fourth respectively.

At the bell, it was clear that the hunt for gold would be a race between Farah and Tanui, the Kenyan punching up the pace with 600m to go but could not sustain with Farah managing to leap ahead of him in the home straight to pick his second Olympic medal over the distance.

He will have an opportunity to win a double on Sunday, just like he did on home soil in 2012 when he takes on the Kenyans again in the final of the 5000m.

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