sports world

Mo Farah bids adieu to the track with 5000 metres win at Zurich Diamond League

The 34-year-old clocked 13 minutes 06.05 seconds to claim the gold medal over Ethiopian Muktar Edris.

Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah ended his track career in thrilling fashion on Thursday with victory in the 5,000 metres at the Diamond League final in Zurich while world 100 metres champion Justin Gatlin slumped to defeat.

The 34-year-old Farah, also a six-time world champion who will now switch to road running, clocked 13 minutes 06.05 seconds to defeat Paul Chelimo of the United States and Muktar Edris of Ethiopia.

However, Chelimo was later disqualified for obstruction with Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha promoted to third place.

Victory was particularly sweet as Edris had defeated him in the 5,000 metres final at the world championships in London two weeks ago, ending his streak of 10 gold medals dating back to the 2011 world championships.

It was also Farah’s first career Diamond League trophy.

“I wanted to win, and it’s amazing that I have won, but it was hard work,” said Farah.

“I will miss the track, the people, my fans. I have enjoyed running in stadiums for a lot of years, but now first of all I will enjoy being with my family.”

While Farah took the applause of the Zurich crowd, it proved a night to forget for controversial American sprinter Gatlin who captured the world 100m title in London.

Gatlin, who served a four-year doping ban from 2006-2010, wasn’t jeeered as he was in London, where he gatecrashed Usain Bolt’s farewell party, but was beaten into fourth place in 10.04 seconds with Britain’s Chijindu Ujah taking victory in 9.97 seconds.

Ujah, part of Britain’s 4x100-metre relay title-winning squad at the world championships, finished ahead of Ivory Coast’s Ben Youssef Meite (9.97 seconds) with Ronnie Baker of the US completing the podium (10.01 seconds).

Schippers, Thompson beaten

Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo stunned world champion Dafne Schippers and Olympic gold medallist Elaine Thompson to win the women’s 200 metres.

Miller-Uibo, who was only third in the event at the recent world championships in London, won in a time of 21.88 seconds ahead of Thompson (22.00) and Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast (22.09), the silver medallist in London.

Schippers struggled home in fourth place (22.36).

It was the second shock failure of the season for Thompson, the Jamaican sprinter who captured Olympic gold in the 100 metres and 200 metres in Rio in 2016.

In the 100 metres at the world championships, she finished in a lowly fifth place.

However, she will get a last chance to redeem herself at the concluding Diamond League meet of the season in Brussels on September 1 when she runs in the 100 metres.

Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet ran the second ever fastest women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase winning in 8min 55.29 seconds.

The Kenyan-born Olympic champion, 20, was two-and-a-half seconds off her own world record of 8:52.78 set in Paris in August last year.

Jebet had a disappointing world championships where she finished fifth but she bounced back on Thursday beating Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech (8:59.84), the runner who famously missed the water jump barrier in London and had to retrace her steps.

World champion Emma Coburn of the United States was fourth in 9 minutes 14.81 seconds.

Qatari high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim struggled in the rain to improve on his season best of 2.40 metres set in Birmingham last week.

He still won with a clearance of 2.36 metres on his third attempt, some distance back from Javier Sotomayor’s world record of 2.45 metres set in 1993.

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“My body instantly craves chai and samosa”

German expats talk about adapting to India, and the surprising similarities between the two cultures.

The cultural similarities between Germany and India are well known, especially with regards to the language. Linguists believe that Sanskrit and German share the same Indo-Germanic heritage of languages. A quick comparison indeed holds up theory - ratha in Sanskrit (chariot) is rad in German, aksha (axle) in Sanskrit is achse in German and so on. Germans have long held a fascination for Indology and Sanskrit. While Max Müller is still admired for his translation of ancient Indian scriptures, other German intellectuals such as Goethe, Herder and Schlegel were deeply influenced by Kalidasa. His poetry is said to have informed Goethe’s plays, and inspired Schlegel to eventually introduce formal Indology in Germany. Beyond the arts and academia, Indian influences even found their way into German fast food! Indians would recognise the famous German curry powder as a modification of the Indian masala mix. It’s most popular application is the currywurst - fried sausage covered in curried ketchup.

It is no wonder then that German travellers in India find a quite a lot in common between the two cultures, even today. Some, especially those who’ve settled here, even confess to Indian culture growing on them with time. Isabelle, like most travellers, first came to India to explore the country’s rich heritage. She returned the following year as an exchange student, and a couple of years later found herself working for an Indian consultancy firm. When asked what prompted her to stay on, Isabelle said, “I love the market dynamics here, working here is so much fun. Anywhere else would seem boring compared to India.” Having cofounded a company, she eventually realised her entrepreneurial dream here and now resides in Goa with her husband.

Isabelle says there are several aspects of life in India that remind her of home. “How we interact with our everyday life is similar in both Germany and India. Separate house slippers to wear at home, the celebration of food and festivals, the importance of friendship…” She feels Germany and India share the same spirit especially in terms of festivities. “We love food and we love celebrating food. There is an entire countdown to Christmas. Every day there is some dinner or get-together,” much like how Indians excitedly countdown to Navratri or Diwali. Franziska, who was born in India to German parents, adds that both the countries exhibit the same kind of passion for their favourite sport. “In India, they support cricket like anything while in Germany it would be football.”

Having lived in India for almost a decade, Isabelle has also noticed some broad similarities in the way children are brought up in the two countries. “We have a saying in South Germany ‘Schaffe Schaffe Hausle baue’ that loosely translates to ‘work, work, work and build a house’. I found that parents here have a similar outlook…to teach their children to work hard. They feel that they’ve fulfilled their duty only once the children have moved out or gotten married. Also, my mother never let me leave the house without a big breakfast. It’s the same here.” The importance given to the care of the family is one similarity that came up again and again in conversations with all German expats.

While most people wouldn’t draw parallels between German and Indian discipline (or lack thereof), Germans married to Indians have found a way to bridge the gap. Take for example, Ilka, who thinks that the famed differences of discipline between the two cultures actually works to her marital advantage. She sees the difference as Germans being highly planning-oriented; while Indians are more flexible in their approach. Ilka and her husband balance each other out in several ways. She says, like most Germans, she too tends to get stressed when her plans don’t work out, but her husband calms her down.

Consequently, Ilka feels India is “so full of life. The social life here is more happening; people smile at you, bond over food and are much more relaxed.” Isabelle, too, can attest to Indians’ friendliness. When asked about an Indian characteristic that makes her feel most at home, she quickly answers “humour.” “Whether it’s a taxi driver or someone I’m meeting professionally, I’ve learnt that it’s easy to lighten the mood here by just cracking a few jokes. Indians love to laugh,” she adds.

Indeed, these Germans-who-never-left as just diehard Indophiles are more Indian than you’d guess at first, having even developed some classic Indian skills with time. Ilka assures us that her husband can’t bargain as well as she does, and that she can even drape a saree on her own.

Isabelle, meanwhile, feels some amount of Indianness has seeped into her because “whenever its raining, my body instantly craves chai and samosa”.

Like the long-settled German expats in India, the German airline, Lufthansa, too has incorporated some quintessential aspects of Indian culture in its service. Recognising the centuries-old cultural affinity between the two countries, Lufthansa now provides a rich experience of Indian hospitality to all flyers on board its flights to and from India. You can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalized by Lufthansa to the extent that they are More Indian Than You Think. To experience Lufthansa’s hospitality on your next trip abroad, click here.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.