EUROPEAN ATHLETICS: Farah defends his European title - but there is no finish line celebration
MO Farah completed his final major dress rehearsal ahead of the London 2012 Olympics as he retained his European 5,000m title in Helsinki.
ON TRACK: World champion Mo Farah wins the European 5,000m title again - two years after his victory in Barcelona (Getty Images)
The world champion defended the crown he won in Barcelona two years ago with ease, accelerating away from nearest rivals, Germany's Arne Gabiuis and Turkey's Polat Kemboi Arikan, with a 54 second final lap.
No-one in Europe and few in the world can cope with such a shift in pace but this time there was no finish line celebration for Farah.
The now three-time European champion was heavily criticised for celebrating his 1500m heats win at last week's Aviva 2012 Trials in Birmingham 100 metres before crossing the line - bad press only made worse by his subsequent withdrawal from the final.
"I didn't intend to disrespect anyone," said Farah.
"Sometimes you get carried away and do a celebration.
"I didn't do the 1500m final but it was just to save my legs and to come out here and get a good race and see where I am.
"I apologise to everyone who bought tickets the final but this medal means more to me than doing the final and getting a medal at the trials."
Elsewhere, Jeanette Kwakye and Mark Lewis Francis saw their Olympic selection hopes fade with disappointing performances over 100m.
Kwakye, a former Olympic finalist, finished seventh in her heat and Lewis-Francis, a Olympic relay champion in 2004, placed sixth in his semi-final. Ashlee Nelson, who won last week's trials in Birmingham but doesn't have the Olympic qualifying time, ran a season's best in her semi but also didn't progress.
Harry Aikines-Aryeetey did advance - to solidify his claims of completing a British squad in the Olympic blue riband event, expected to include rising star Adam Gemili and trials winner Dwain Chambers.
But Norway's Jaysuma Saidy Ndure and France's Christophe Lemaitre look favourites to win gold in the final.
Nathan Woodward and Rhys Williams - contesting the one available position in the men's 400m hurdles team, after Dai Greene and Jack Green booked their slots at the trials, advanced to the final but Richard Yates didn't qualify from his heat
Meghan Beesley searching the time to join Perri Shakes Drayton and Eilidh Child in the women's 400m hurdles line up at London 2012, will get another chance to run the qualifying standard in the final.
But there was disappointment for Luke Gunn - just days after he won the national 3,000m steeplechase title for the fourth time. Needing to run another B standard time to earn selection, Gunn tripped and took a painful fall on the second lap of his heat.
Defending Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu and Shana Cox have already guaranteed they will run over 400m in London and are absent from individual events in Helsinki. Britain's Nicola Sanders, a former world silver medallist, withdrew from her heat due to illness, Kelly Massey didn't advance and only Lee McConnell will contest the final.
There was disappointment for Abigail Irozuru - who failed to qualify for the long jump final. She has one A standard 6.80 metre jump this year but needs another to secure her slot before the end of the month.
Isobel Pooley needed to clear 1.95 metres in the high jump to secure an automatic Olympic place but managed only 1.78m while Carl Myerscough didn't advance from his group in the shot.
There were no such issues for Goldie Sayers, who was a comfortable qualifier for the javelin final, just days after winning her tenth straight national title.
© Sportsbeat 2012