Sir Mo Farah became the first British man to win the European 10,000 metres title on this day in 2010 as he led home a brilliant one-two in Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium.
Farah turned in a display of supreme confidence, bordering on arrogance, as he took gold in 28min 24.99sec, ahead of team-mate Chris Thompson.
The 27-year-old had finally hit the front in a slow race with five laps to go, but then beckoned Spain’s Ayad Lamdassem through to take up the pace with just over three laps remaining.
Remarkably, a lap later Farah was so confident the race was his that he turned round to encourage Thompson, who was engaged in a battle with Italy’s Daniele Meucci some 30m behind.
And the gambit paid massive dividends as Farah stormed clear with 350m to go and Thompson produced a rousing finish to overhaul Lamdassem and just hold off Meucci on the line, both athletes given the same time of 28:27.33.
Four years earlier in Gothenburg Britain won just one gold medal in the entire championships, claiming the men’s 4x100m relay on the final day of competition.
But Farah and Thompson were always expected to deliver, coming into the race separated by less than a second all year but more than 30 seconds quicker than anyone else in the field.
“That was amazing. A one-two has never been done before and it just feels so great to be here,” said Farah.
Thompson, who beat Farah to 5,000m gold in the European Under-23 championship seven years earlier but had suffered badly with injuries since, added: “That was awesome, that’s what it’s all about.
“This means so much more than the European Under-23 one-two all those years ago because this is seniors.
“(Farah) is the greatest British endurance runner ever – I’m second best! Coming here and winning the silver was my gold and I am so proud to do it behind this man. It’s amazing, it is so good to be back.”
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