Double Olympic champion Mo Farah delighted a raucous sell-out crowd by easily winning the men’s 3,000m at the Anniversary Games in London.
Farah failed to add the British record to his growing list of achievements, but did set a personal best of seven minutes 36.85 seconds.
Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill made her return from injury, competing in the hurdles and long jump.
She was fourth in the hurdles in 13.08 but last out of eight in the long jump.
Both Ennis-Hill and Farah were back on the Olympic Stadium track where they had captivated a nation during their gold medal-winning performances on that never to be forgotten “Super Saturday” at London 2012.
“This is where I love to run and last year at the Olympics was a really big year for me,” said Farah, who comfortably finished ahead of America’s Ryan Hill in second.
“This is where I made my name. Each time I race I want to make my country proud. I am honoured to represent my country.”
As expected there was ear-splitting support for the two Olympians, who have experienced differing fortunes since their successes 12 months ago, with Ennis-Hill’s season hampered by a left Achilles injury.
On the other end of the spectrum, Farah has been in phenomenal form and the 30-year-old says he is now a stronger athlete than the one who captured gold in both the 5,000m and 10,000m at London 2012.
Only last week Farah, already the British record-holder in the 5,000m, 10,000m and half-marathon, broke Steve Cram’s long- 1500m British record.
Hopes were high that Farah would break David Moorcroft’s British 3,000m record of 7mins 32.79 secs, a mark set 31 years ago.
Even though there was a pacemaker in the race, a record-breaking run seemed improbable as the race entered the final two laps, although that did not stop spectators rising to their feet as Farah entered the home straight.
Such was Farah’s margin of victory, the Briton was kissing the track in celebration as his nearest rivals were crossing the line.
Although he missed the British record by four seconds Farah’s commanding performance raises expectations further that he can replicate his Olympic feats at next month’s World Championships.
“Tomorrow [Sunday] I’ll go to St Moritz to train ahead of the World Championships and hopefully I’ll get on the podium there [in Moscow],” added the Oregon-based Farah.
However, with the World Championships only two weeks away, British fans will be waiting nervously to discover whether Ennis-Hill has come through her two events unscathed.