LONDON -- Mo Farah is one step closer to leaving the track with gold in Saturday's IAAF World Championships 5,000-meter final, but he is aware of just how hard it is to bow out at the top after watching friend Usain Bolt lose in his farewell race.
Having already secured gold in the 10,000 meters on Friday, Farah is paying heed to Bolt's experience as he turns to Saturday's 5,000 final after qualifying second in his heat (11th overall) with a time of 13:30.18 on a wet, windy and pretty dismal evening at London Stadium.
It has been an underwhelming championships for Great Britain so far, with Farah's gold the sole medal the nation has to show for all its efforts. He is widely expected to add another Saturday on the track where he made his name in 2012, when he races for the final time in a track event before focusing on road racing. However, Farah knows how tough a task he faces.
"It ain't easy," Farah said. "We've seen it with Usain Bolt [who finished third in the 100-meter final Saturday]. It happens. It would have been nice to see him win. I was looking forward to that, but it didn't happen.
"No one's going to give it to you, no matter who you are, even Usain Bolt. He's a human being at the end of the day, and I now have to focus on myself and get ready."
There was another cautionary tale for Farah on Wednesday as South Africa track star Wayde van Niekerk squeezed through to the 200 final in the last qualifying spot, about 24 hours after he won 400 gold, having made a concerted effort to preserve his energy by stepping back from chasing the world record. British 200-meter runner Daniel Talbot unwittingly echoed Farah's sentiment about Bolt when he said of Van Niekerk's performance: "He's only human."
Farah had a five-day break between winning the 10,000 and Wednesday's 5,000 heat, with much of the focus on putting the British champion back together again after a bruising final on Friday that left him with a bandaged leg.
"The 10K did take it out of me," Farah said. "I was a little bit beaten up. I'm OK now and glad I've come through tonight.
"The knee is alright. The body is a bit tired, but anything is possible. I have to recover, get in the zone, switch the lights off. The doctors and the team have been great for me, helping me out."
Farah will spend the next two days in the team hotel -- he did spend a night with his family in Teddington but returned to the team environment to maintain focus -- and will rest up after a tricky heat that spelled out the task ahead on Saturday.
"It would mean the world to me [to win]," Farah said. "But at the same time, I ain't taking anything for granted."