The goal, Hassan Mead said, was to finish in the top 10 at his first Olympic Games. He just missed out Saturday, placing 11th in the men’s 5,000 meters at Rio’s Olympic Stadium.
Mead’s smile, though, showed he was not too disappointed.
Mo Farah of Great Britain won in 13 minutes, 3.30 seconds to complete the double-double, winning the 5,000 and 10,000 at the Rio Games four years after winning both races at the London Olympics.
Paul Chelimo of the U.S. was second in 13:03.90, and Hagos Gebrhiwet of Ethiopia was third in 13:04.35.
Mead, a former Gophers runner from Minneapolis, came across the line in 13:09.81. He was happy just to make the final after falling with 200 meters to go in the semifinal, then winning the right to advance to the final after two appeals. He didn’t stress over that — or over a finish Saturday only slightly outside his goal.
“Ninety-five percent of the race was a great race,” Mead said. “It was fast, and that was good for the spectators and for many of us. I don’t mind a fast pace.
“I just lost my momentum going into the bell lap. There were a lot of people moving in and out, and someone jumped from the inside to the outside, and I kind of lost my momentum. I didn’t finish as well as I would have liked, but overall, I think it was a good race.”
Farah joined Finland’s Lasse Viren as the only men to capture both the 5,000 and the 10,000 at two Olympics.
Chelimo’s silver medal took a while to become official. He was disqualified after the race for a lane infringement, and after lodging an appeal, he was later reinstated as silver medalist.
Chelimo slid through a seam as he rounded the final turn and charged up to second. His medal was the first for the U.S. in the Olympic 5,000 since 1964.
Mead ran in third place early in the race. At 800 meters, he dropped toward the back of the pack and did not make a move until the 3,000-meter mark. He advanced to fifth for a time but fell back again on the final lap.