Mo Farah beaten by Kenenisa Bekele in Great North Run thriller

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele saw off double world and Olympic champion Mo Farah's late surge to win the Great North Run in a thrilling sprint finish.

Great North Run analysis

"That defeat is going to give Mo fire as he heads into his winter training because he doesn't like to lose.

"He needs to learn to study the course beforehand because I don't think he realised how narrow the home straight was.

"And he needs to learn to relax when running downhill because the race was won on that downhill section."

Britain's Farah, 30, chased down Bekele in the last 400m in a great finale but was pipped to the line by one second.

Another Ethiopian, Haile Gebrselassie, was a distant third after falling behind in the last of the 13.1 miles.

"I'm disappointed but I was second to a great athlete," said Farah after finishing in one hour and 10 seconds.

The sight of Farah and Bekele fighting it out in the last 200m was a fitting conclusion to what had been an eagerly anticipated race from Newcastle upon Tyne to South Shields.

The three distance-running greats - Farah, Bekele and Gebrselassie - boast 12 world titles and seven Olympic gold medals between them and were together until 31-year-old Bekele, competing in his first half marathon, made his break down a steep slope.

"When Kenenisa went with a mile to go, I thought the pace was ridiculous," said Farah, who won 5,000m and 10,000m gold at the World Championships in Moscow last month.

"I thought I could come back. It came to the last 200m, right to the line. It was a great race and a great finish."

Gebrselassie, 40, could not keep up with the younger pair but his time of 1:01:41 was still a world record over the distance for over-40s.

Women's half-marathon record

  • Paula Radcliffe (GB) one hour, five minutes, 40 seconds
  • Susan Chepkemei (Ken) 1:05.44 (2001)
  • Priscah Jeptoo (Ken) 1:05.45 (2013)
  • Mary Keitany (Ken) 1:05.50 (2011)
  • Lucy Kabuu (Ken) 1:06.09 (2013)
  • Meseret Defar (Eth) 1:06.09 (2013)

Kenya's Priscah Jeptoo came close to breaking the course record as she ran the third-fastest time in women's half-marathon history.

The 29-year-old, this year's London marathon winner and London 2012 silver medallist, was only five seconds slower than the 1:05.40 Britain's Paula Radcliffe ran 10 years ago.

Meseret Defar broke the Ethiopian record as she came second to Jeptoo in 1:06.09 but ahead of compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba, another of the pre-race favourites.

Britain's David Weir, who was inaugurated into the Great North Run Hall of Fame this week, won the men's wheelchair race for a fourth time.

"It was a good test to see where I'm at," said the 34-year-old course-record holder, who crossed the line in 43:03.

"I surprised myself. I've only been back pushing for a couple of weeks so I'm really pleased with that time."

Compatriot Shelly Woods claimed her fifth title in the women's wheelchair race, but admitted the conditions had made it a tough day.

"The wind was swirling and I found it difficult out there," said the 27-year-old after clocking 54:28.

"I'm doing the New York marathon in November and this is great preparation for it."