Bronze medallist Paul Chelimo has defended his cut-throat gesture at the start of the World Championships 5,000m in London.
The 26-year-old American made the sign before finishing third behind Britain’s Mo Farah and Ethiopia’s gold medallist Muktar Edris.
“I meant [by the gesture] Mo has to have a hard time. We have to make sure he goes down,” Chelimo told BBC Sport.
“If we work really hard and try to beat Mo – it makes it fun.”
Farah, who won 10,000m gold at the London event, missed out on a fifth global championships distance double in a row before he switches his focus to marathons.
Kenya-born Chelimo, who described himself as “the future of distance running”, added: “I really wanted to beat Mo but I didn’t have enough in me but just a medal is enough.
“Mo Farah is a great guy. All these years I have been working hard to beat Mo and if there is always someone like that then that makes you work really hard. It tells you that Mo is a really strong guy.”
Race winner Edris, 23, did the ‘mobot’ – a move made famous by Farah – after crossing the finishing line.
Farah, who will make his final track appearance at the 5,000m Diamond League final in Zurich on 24 August, played down suggestions Edris was directing a taunt his way.
“These guys all respect me and the reason why he did that is they respect me for what I’ve done for the sport,” said the 34-year-old.
Edris, who had lost his five previous races against Farah, said: “Mo has many victories but now I have one. I am the new champion for Ethiopia. That’s why I did the mobot. I am the next champion.
“I have won the gold in front of his home crowd. I didn’t have much support but we did it. I did the mobot out of respect as well for him.”