25 OCT 2009 General News Portsmouth, UK

Farah scores tremendous victory while Monteiro destroys opposition in Portsmouth

Mo Farah on his way to victory in Portsmouth at the 2009 Great South Run (Mark Shearman)Mo Farah on his way to victory in Portsmouth at the 2009 Great South Run (Mark Shearman) © Copyright

Mo Farah with a defeat looking on the cards made a spectacular recovery to score a thrilling victory at the Bupa Great South Run in Portsmouth on Sunday (25).

The BUPA Great South Run is an IAAF Gold label Road Race.

Farah in the best ever finish to the 10 Miles race recovered to win ahead of Stephen Mokoka by a second in a time of 46:25 seconds with Luke Kibet the 2007 winner, third in 47:16.

The 26-year-old Londoner in his first serious race over the distance on the flat and fast south coast course seemed to have blown his chances when the Africa pair opened a 25 yards gap just two miles into the race.

The South African and Kenyan slightly extended their advantage with Mokoka who posted a national best performance, dropping his Kenyan rival just before eight miles something which prompted a revival of Farah's own fortunes.

Farah believing in his own pre-race tactics and seeing Kibet back in his sight, quickly tracked down the 2007 World marathon champion and then with just over a mile to run came level with Mokoka.

The pair fighting a tense battle and battered by a gale force wind blowing off the Solent fought a closely contested final Mile which went to the wire in a pulsating finish.

Farah waited until 150m to go before making his final sprint for the line but Mokoka refused to give-up to guarantee a nail-biting finish, losing out by a stride.

"The boys didn't make it easy at all for me," Farah said after the very quick start with the wind at their backs. "I think they wanted to get rid of me. Stephen went off and kept pushing and pushing and he and Luke opened a gap on me."

Despite falling behind, Farah the first Briton to win the Great South Run since Gary Staines scored his third and final victory in 1996, was always confident of his tactics.

"We went through 10km and I knew it was quite fast and knew it was going to be windy in the last couple of miles, I was thinking I must keep some energy because conditions weren't too easy," Farah said.

Farah now the UK's third fastest performer, insisted: "The crowd made a big difference for me, they kept cheering my name - it's a nice feeling particularly in those last two miles."

Ines Monteiro followed the example of fellow Portuguese Jessica Augusto, the winner of last month's BUPA Great North Run when spread-eagling the field to win the women's event.

The European Cross Country bronze medallist who trains with Augusto hit the front immediately and by two miles was 20 yards ahead of her much more fancied rivals including two-time World marathon champion Catherine Ndereba.

Monteiro's decision to run solo from the start despite the windy conditions paid dividends as she drew further and further clear of a star-studded field to post a national best mark of 52:32.

"I spoke with Julia before coming here and I felt with many experienced runners in the race it would be the best way for me to win," said Monteiro.

Her confidence and determination eventually saw finish 1:26 ahead of fellow countrywoman Ana Dulce Felix with Australian Benita Willis the 2004 winner, third in 54:41.

Ndereba fifth in 55:28, said: "The wind totally destroyed me and blew me all over the place from start to finish. But this is a great race and I tried my hardest."

Dave Martin – PA International – for the IAAF

Results

Men
1, M Farah (GBR) 46:25
2, S Mokoka (South Africa) 46:26
3, L Kibet (Kenya) 47:16
4, S Overall (GBR) 48:00
5, M Geele (Somalia) 48:00
6, M Fagan (Ireland) 48:26
7, P Wicks (GBR) 48:38
8, H Ferreira (Portugal) 48:50
 

Women
 1, I Monteiro (Portugal) 52:32
2, A-D Felix (Portugal) 53:58
3, B Willis (Australia) 54:41
4, R Kalmer (South Africa) 55:11
5, C Ndereba (Kenya) 55:28
6, M Sig Moller (Denmark) 55:36
7, C Hallissey (GBR) 55:46
8, F Fullerton (GBR) 56:28