Mo Farah believes he's on the right track to Olympic gold after becoming the first athlete to successfully defend the 5000m European title in Helsinki.

The Briton, defending the gold he won in Barcelona in 2010, strolled to victory in a time of 13 minutes and 29.91 seconds against a strong field in the Finish capital.

He finished ahead of German athlete Arne Gabiuis and Turkey's Polat Kemboi, who snatched silver and bronze, after biding his time for much of the early going, before producing a sub-54 second final lap to cruise to the line.

Mo Farah
Farah became the first athlete to retain the European 5000m title.

"There were too many guys there," Farah said. "We were running too slowly and off that anybody can kick."

"I had to make sure I had a bit left so I could kick again towards the end."

As well as adding to his 5000m world title he claimed in Daegu last September, Farah became the first athlete to defend the European title over the distance in the sort of fashion that will strike fear into his rivals ahead of London 2012.

"Get in there. It means a lot because as an athlete we take everything for granted when things are going very well but when things are not going well, it's hard," Farah beamed.

"When you are winning races it is important, and I have got that confidence. So it is going in the right direction." "I've just got to stay injury free."

Farah pulled out of the 1500m final at last weekend's Olympic trials in Birmingham, after winning his heat by 16 seconds, a performance which included celebrating 100m from the line.

The 29 year old had been labelled as disrespectful for celebrating before the finishing line, but Team GB's No.1 distance runner has defended his actions.

"I got a little bit of stick for it but I didn't intend to disrespect anyone," Farah added.

"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 [for the day of the 1,500m final] in Birmingham] but this medal means more to me than doing the final and getting a medal there."