Track and Field

Redemption at stake for Canada's Moh Ahmed entering 5,000m at athletics worlds

Moh Ahmed was visibly annoyed by his 10,000-metre event performance at the athletics world championships in Eugene, Ore. on Sunday. But there is still a chance for redemption in TrackTown, USA, as the Canadian gets ready for the 5,000m race on Thursday.

Long-distance expert 'disappointed' with 6th-place finish in 10,000m race on Sunday

Canada's Moh Ahmed is seen competing at the Tokyo Olympics, where he became the first Canadian ever to win a long-distance track medal at the Games. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Moh Ahmed is always wanting more — he's certainly never one to become complacent.

It's what makes him great and has allowed him to blaze a historic long-distance Canadian trail throughout his career. 

It's also why he was frustrated at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore., after his 10,000-metre event. 

Ahmed finished sixth on Sunday. He's finished sixth in the event a number of times now, including at last summer's Olympics and the last worlds in Doha.

He was visibly annoyed by his performance when he spoke to CBC Sports after the race.

The 31-year-old originally from Mogadishu, Somalia continued.

"I still haven't figured out the 10K. It's disappointing. I thought I prepared really well."

For years, a sixth-place performance in a long distance run by a Canadian would have been a remarkable feat. But not for Ahmed. 

There is still a chance for redemption in TrackTown, USA.

The 10,000m is not his best race. That's the 5,000m. On Thursday night, inside the historic Hayward Field, Ahmed will burn off some of the steam from his 10,000m in the heats in the shorter distance.

"I feel confident about the five for sure but I also felt confident about this one too," he said after Sunday's run.

WATCH l Breaking down what makes Mo Ahmed a 5,000m threat:

What makes runner Moh Ahmed so fast in the 5,000 metres?

3 months ago
Duration 4:25
Olympic medallist Moh Ahmed put Canada on the map in distance running. Olympic runner and CBC Sports analyst Kate Van Buskirk breaks down what makes him so good.

Memorable silver in Tokyo

Nearly a year ago to the day, Ahmed made history at the Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Canadian ever to win a long-distance track medal at the Games. 

Ahmed, who moved to St. Catharines, Ont., with his family when he was 11, made a memorable charge to the finish line to earn silver on a muggy night in Tokyo.

It was a masterful race by Ahmed, whose first words after the triumph was that he was relieved. 

His next words were that he wishes he would have been a little closer to the incomparable Joshua Cheptegei to compete for gold — not just happy to be on the podium, Ahmed wants to get to the top. 

And should Ahmed find that elusive gold he so badly craves, he'll make more history by becoming the first Canadian to be crowned a world champion in a long-distance event.

Ahmed is competing in the second heat and only needs to finish in the top-five to advance.

Should he do that, which seems like a lock for the veteran runner, Ahmed will then race in the final on Sunday night.

And here's something to consider as this 5,000m competition nears.

Three years ago in Doha, Ahmed won bronze in the 5,000m. Last summer at the Olympics he won silver. 

While it won't be easy, he seems poised to take that final step to the top.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Devin Heroux

CBC reporter

Devin Heroux reports for CBC News and Sports. He is now based in Toronto, after working first for the CBC in Calgary and Saskatoon.

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