Road To The Olympic Games

Track and Field

Toronto's Justyn Knight scores 5K world standard at Payton Jordan Invitational

Toronto's Justyn Knight set a world standard for this season and also broke a school record in the 5km race at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. on Friday.

Performance is a sign of the times for Canadian middle distance runners

University of Syracuse athlete Justyn Knight, right, seen after an event earlier this season, set a world standard and established a new school record in the 5km race at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., on Friday. (Darron Cummings/The Associated Press)

Toronto's Justyn Knight set a world standard for this season and also broke a school record in the 5km race at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. on Friday.

The University of Syracuse athlete finished the event with a time of 13 minutes, 17.51 seconds. Melbourne, Australia's Sam McEntee was just 0.04 seconds behind at 13:17:55, while Gabriel Geay of Posso Sports was third with a time of 13:20:35.


Knight, 20, also eclipsed his previous personal-best mark of 13:27:23, which he ran last season. 

The performance came as no surprise to Canadian Olympic race walker Evan Dunfee, who offered congratulations and referred to Knight as a "class act."


Knight was understandably happy with the result and also had an interesting take on why he was finally able to attain the world standard, which is one of the entry requirements to participate in the world championships.

"It feels great, the one thing I changed in my life was no more staying up until four in the morning to download the new Drake album," Knight said in an interview after the race. 


His achievement also comes on the heels of Mo Ahmed setting a personal best in the 10km at the same event. 

Ahmed also holds the fastest Canadian time in the 5km at 13:01:74, which he ran in Eugene, Ore., last May. 

Knight, who is in his junior year, held off a furious charge from McEntee in the final 400 metres to secure the win. 

"I knew that if I made my move, I just had to stick strong. I could feel him coming up on me in the last [portion of the race] and I just told [myself] 'whatever', you have to give it your best effort." 

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