British distance legend Mo Farah fought off a furious push from American Paul Chelimo and 2017 world champion Muktar Edris in the final metres to win Thursday's 5,000 at Weltklasse Zurich in the final race of his illustrious track career.
The 34-year-old Farah, who will switch to road races in 2018, crossed the line in 13 minutes, 6.05 seconds before a sold out crowd of 25,000 at Letzigrund Stadium to take home the Diamond League Trophy and $50,000 US.
Chelimo's disqualification for pushing Farah and Edris across the line was announced more than one hour later.
"It was important to go out with a victory," Farah told the crowd, who were still on their feet clapping and paying tribute, several minutes after the race. "It's every athlete's dream to go out this way. But it was hard work."
Edris, who ran 13:06.09, was already stumbling when nudged from his left side, forcing him to bring down his Ethiopia teammate Yomif Kejelcha who was upgraded to third from fourth with a time of 13:06.18.
"Oh man, I had to fight the last 200 metres there. I managed to hold them," Farah said in a television interview.
Farah was joined after his race by high jump world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim to kneel in prayer on the track. They then hugged. Earlier, Qatar's Barshim won his event clearing 2.36 metres, one centimetre above his gold-medal height at the recent world championships in London.
Canada's Mo Ahmed, who surged into top spot at the 3,200-metre mark and stayed there for 800m, ended up fifth in 13:10.26, just shy of his season best of 13:08.16. The native of St. Catharines, Ont., was also sixth in the 5,000 world final (13:35.43) at London Stadium, where he set the Canadian record in the 10,000 (27:02.35).
The 5,000 was one of 16 Diamond League titles to be decided in Zurich. Another 16 athletes will be crowned champions Sept. 1 in Brussels.
In typical Farah fashion, the Brit stood out in the last lap, covering the final 400 metres in a sizzling 52.61 seconds. Kejelcha was the first to attempt to pass Farah midway through the last lap, followed by Edris and Chelimo, the bronze medallist at this year's world championships.
'He plays to his strengths'
But a determined Farah, who has won 10 world-level championships — four Olympic gold medals and six world titles – held off all-comers down the home stretch. In the process, he gained a measure of revenge against Edris, who beat Farah for gold at worlds to end the latter's four-year unbeaten streak in the 5,000.
"He just makes the right decisions at the right time and plays to his strengths, which is controlling the final 400 metres of a race," former world-record holder and three-time Olympian Dave Moorcroft told CBC Sports of Farah earlier this week.
Farah's resiliency and ability to produce consistently when it mattered most is what set him apart from the world's other elite long-distance runners, added Moorcroft, who lost national records to Farah in the 3,000 and 5,000.
Dominant at Letzigrund
"I don't think I've seen a long-distance runner control races and assert himself in a race the way Mo has over the years," he said.
Farah fared well at Letzigrund Stadium in his career. It's where he broke the 13-minute barrier for the first time in 2010 — clocking 12:57.94 in the 5,000 to shatter Moorcroft's British mark — and where he was crowned double European champion in 2014.
After Farah won gold in the 10,000 and silver in the 5,000 at worlds in London, he prevailed in the 3,000 at last weekend's Diamond League meet in Birmingham, England, but there were some who felt he looked worn out after clocking 7:38.64. Farah won the same race in Birmingham a year ago in 7:32.76.
Farah is the only athlete in history to win both the men's 5,000 and 10,000 at the Olympics and world championships two straight times.
He will be seeking a record-breaking fourth consecutive title in the Great North Run half marathon (21 kilometres) on Sept. 10 in England.
Sprinters Gatlin, Schippers denied victory
Two world champion sprinters were beaten into fourth place on a cool 18 C evening.
Justin Gatlin of the United States was never in contention in the 100, clocking 10.04 seconds. Britain's Chijindu Ujah won in his season's best of 9.97.
Canada's Andre De Grasse qualified first for Zurich but is sidelined by a hamstring injury he suffered five days before the world championships.
Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands faded into fourth in the 200 watching worlds bronze medallist Shaunae Miller-Uibo race to a Bahamas national record of 21.88. Olympic champion Elaine Thompson of Jamaica was second in 22.00.
Canada's Emmanuel 8th in 200m
Toronto's Crystal Emmanuel was last in the eight-women field in 23.94, her slowest performance of the Diamond League season.
She stopped the clock in 22.60 at the world championships after shattering Marita Payne-Wiggins' Canadian record with a run of 22.50 on July 18 in Ireland.
In early July, the 25-year-old Emmanuel repeated as a double gold medallist in the 100 and 200 at the Canadian championships, running 22.50 in the 100 at Ottawa.
Semenya takes 800m after Bishop fades
Melissa Bishop ended her 800-metre season no doubt frustrated she couldn't run under one minute 57 seconds.
The Canadian-record holder at 1:57.01, Bishop led until the final 200 metres on Thursday when 2017 world champion Caster Semenya of South Africa bolted from the back of the pack and into the lead to stay for her 20th consecutive win in the event in 1:55.84.
Bishop, 29, faded down the straightaway, finishing seventh among nine runners in 1:58.30.
After running 1:57.68 at worlds, Bishop lamented the fact she'd let herself get too far back in the pack when the leaders made their move with 300 metres to go, saying "I'm tired of 1:57s, I want something faster."
Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi was second on Thursday in 1:56.71 while Kenya's Margaret Wambui was third in a personal-best 1:56.87. In last year's 800 final at the Rio Olympics, Wambui passed Bishop in the final straightaway and captured the bronze medal by 13-100ths of a second.
Kendricks ends Lavillenie's pole vault reign
Current outdoor world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie's hopes of winning an eighth Diamond Trophy in men's pole vault were dashed after the Frenchman's three misses at 5.63 metres.
The 30-year-old didn't win at a Diamond League meet this season but entered action Thursday having attained season bests in London (5.89) and Warsaw (5.91).
American Sam Kendricks, coming off his victory at the world championships, cleared 5.87 to extend his undefeated season.
Canada's Shawn Barber, who failed to defend his world title earlier this month, was a model of consistency early on Thursday, clearing 5.33, 5.48 and 5.63 on his first attempts.
But the Toronto resident struggled at 5.73, missing all three tries to finish fifth in the field of 11.
Gleadle off mark in javelin
Canada's Liz Gleadle ended her Diamond League season in disappointing fashion, placing eighth in the nine-women javelin field with a best throw of 59.06 metres.
The Vancouver native was coming off a 12th-place showing in the world final at London, where Gleadle's third attempt measuring 58.36 wasn't enough to keep the 28-year-old among the top eight after three rounds to continue.
With a season-best 64.47, Gleadle began Thursday's event with a throw of 56.88, followed by 59.06, 56.97 and 55.51.
High jumper Mike Mason clears 2.24m
Mike Mason failed to build on his recent world championships performance in high jump, missing all three attempts at 2.28 metres in Zurich after clearing 2.24 on his second try.
Two weeks ago in London, England, the 30-year-old from Nanoose Bay, B.C., didn't advance to the final after jumping 2.26.
A three-time Olympian, Mason entered Thursday's event with a season-best jump of 2.30, set at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., on April 15.
His teammate, reigning Olympic champion Derek Drouin, did not compete as he continues to recover from an Achilles tendon injury.