EUGENE, Ore. — An outstanding Mo Farah thrilled the crowd once again at Hayward Field, after the Olympic champion raced away with the men’s 10,000 metres crown on “distance night” at the Prefontaine Classic on Friday (27).
The Great Britain star held his head and waited on the right moment to kick down the home straight en route to posting a world-leading 26:53.71, which also is his third fastest time ever in the 10k behind the 2011 and 2015 Prefontaine Classic previous winning performances.
Farah was overtaken by Kenya’s William Sitonik down the backstraight in the final lap, but the veteran runner waited to do his damage in the last 100m – sprinting back past his rival with about 60m left to set up the comfortable victory.
“I want to defend my titles,” said Farah, who is hoping to go even faster this season. “I need to stay focused and keep training.
“It means a lot to me (to do well at Hayward). They give me a great reception.”
There were some quality times posted behind Farah as well, with 18 other men dipping under 28 minutes, including four others with a sub-27 minute performance.
Sitonik’s brave effort to attack Farah was rewarded with a personal best, after the Kenyan crossed the line in 26:54.66.
Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia also grabbed a personal best when running 26:57.33 for third place, while Kenya’s Stephen Sambu (26:58.25) and Ethiopian Ibrahim Jeilan (26:58.75 – PB) were also impressive for fourth and fifth, respectively.
The top eight finishers all moved into the highest parts on the top 10 world list for 2016.
The first American to cross the line was Eric Jenkins, who ran a personal best of 27:48.02 for 16th.
Also on the track, Hellen Obiri led a Kenyan sweep of the top three places in the women’s 5000m.
Champion Obiri raced home in a personal best of 14:32.02, which is the third-fastest in the world this year, and she beat compatriots Viola Kibiwot (14:35.13) and Vivian Cheruiyot (14:35.69) who ran the 5th and 6th fastest time for 2016.
The women’s national 800m race went to Alysia Montano in 2:00.78, with Kate Grace (2:01.16) and Chrishuna Williams (2:01.69) also finishing in the top three.
In field event action, American World Championships gold medallist Joe Kovacs heaved a world-leading 22.13m standard to take the men’s shot put, with New Zealand’s World Indoor champion Tom Walsh taking second with 20.84m and USA’s Reese Hoffa, making his last Nike Prefontaine Classic appearance, getting third with an effort of 20.58m.
Elsewhere, Olympic champion Brittney Reese of USA took care of business in the women’s Long Jump – leaping 6.92m in her first attempt, while Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic won the women’s Discus Throw with 68.57m and Poland’s Pawel Fajdek continued his good form this season with an 80.28m to take the men’s Hammer event.