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Moh Ahmed 5000m Canadian record

World bronze medallist Moh Ahmed made a significant improvement on the North American 5000m record at a low-key competition at Jesuit High School in Portland on Friday night (10 July 2020).

Moh Ahmed 5000m Canadian record

Ahmed’s 12:47.20 took more than six seconds off Bernard Lagat’s continental record set back in 2011, while Houlihan’s 14:23.92 was a 10.53-second improvement on her own North American record from two years ago. Runner-up Karissa Schweizer also finished inside the previous continental record, clocking 14:26.34.

Organised by their training group, the Bowerman Track Club, the meet comprised just two 5000m races and the intention for both events was to provide the opportunity for fast times.

The men’s 5000m race was planned with pace-setters making up with half the field. They to set the pace for the first 3000m before leaving Ahmed and Lopez Lomong to battle it out for victory.

Ryan Hill (2:36.2) and Grant Fisher (5:12) were the respective leaders for the first and second kilometres as Ahmed and Lomong sat in the middle of the pack. Fisher reached 3000m in 7:46.10, closely followed by Evan Jager and Sean McGorty, but they soon stepped off the track and Ahmed took up the running with three laps to go.

Ahmed then started to wind up the pace and broke away from Lomong on the penultimate lap, which he covered in 59.5. He moved up another gear and ran the final 400m in 57.45 to cross the finish line in 12:47.20, smashing his own Canadian record and moving to 10th on the world all-time list. Lomong, who narrowly missed out on breaking the 13-minute barrier last year with 13:00.13, finished second in a lifetime best of 12:58.78.

“Once I saw the way Shelby and Karissa attacked the last 600m, I told myself that I just had to do the same kind of thing,” said Ahmed, whose previous best was 12:58.16. “With two laps to go, the clock said 10:49 and I just thought, ‘you can run two (minutes) flat (for the final 800m)’. With 200m to go, I just tried to blast it as hard as I could.

“I’m excited, it’s something I’ve been working really, really hard for. It’s been an extremely challenging year, but luckily we have a good group and it was great to deliver this.”