Great Britain's Mo Farah celebrates winning the men's 5000 metres final at the 2013 IAAF World Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow on August 16, 2013.AFP
Great Britain's Mo Farah competes during the men's 5000 metres final at the 2013 IAAF World Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow on August 16, 2013.AFP
LONDON: (AFP) – Saturday's newspapers hailed Mo Farah as the greatest British athlete of all time after he secured a rare world and Olympic double in the long-distance events at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow.
The Somali-born runner overcame a crippling early stitch to defend his world 5,000m title, just six days after Saturday's 10,000m win.
The Times said Farah was a national treasure.
"Wrapped in his Union Jack, with his daughter by his side, Britain's fairytale hero took the plaudits to which he must now be accustomed," it said in its editorial.
"These extraordinary achievements mean that Farah has a claim to being both the best athlete in the world and the best British male athlete there has yet been. Sebastian Coe, himself a candidate for that title, believes Farah is the best of British.
"As a polite and gracious man who is devoted to his young family, Farah could hardly be a better embodiment of modern Britain.
"These victory moments are the culmination of immensely hard work. For the watching public those moments when Mo kicks down the straight will be golden memories.
"For the country he so graciously represents it is a minor triumph that a Somali immigrant, a devout Muslim, is someone to treasure, a man who by his own talent and skill does us all proud."
The Daily Mail hailed him as "Mighty Mo, greatest British athlete ever".
"The greatest: Farah does the 'double double'" said The Daily Telegraph, which carried a picture of the athlete on its front page.
The Daily Express said Farah was "the greatest".
"What is left for Mo Farah now? He has got more gold than the Royal Mint and is king of his world," the tabloid said.
"Farah's next big challenge is the marathon, making his debut next spring, and he is unsure how he will adapt to the roads.
"Perhaps a world record needs to be added to the mix -- and who is to say that will not be achieved at the shorter distance of 1,500 metres, given that Farah has become Mr Incredible?"
The Daily Mirror said his efforts were "Momentous".
"Mo Farah ran into the record books with another sensational victory at the World Championships last night. Not only is his place in athletics history secured, so is his place in the nation's hearts.
Jessica Ennis-Hill, Alex Ferguson and Zara Phillips were among those on Twitter hailing his achievements.
The Sun said Farah should be knighted for his medal haul.
"Olympic champ at 5,000 and 10,000 metres. Now world champion at both," the tabloid said in its editorial.
"Mo Farah is arguably Britain's greatest ever athlete. Are there still people who'll claim he hasn't done enough for a knighthood?"