Road To The Olympic Games

Track and Field

Canadian distance runner Moh Ahmed rules 1,500 metres at Bowerman intrasquad meet

In what was a virtual sprint for 5,000 and 10,000-metre specialist Moh Ahmed, the 29-year-old won the 1,500 in three minutes 34.89 seconds at the Bowerman Track Club intrasquad meet in Portland, Ore., on Tuesday.

2-time Olympian 3 seconds shy of Kevin Sullivan's national mark of 3:31.71 in 2000

Moh Ahmed won the 1,500 metres in three minutes 34.89 seconds at the Bowerman Track Club intrasquad in Portland, Ore., on Tuesday to become the fourth-fastest Canadian over that distance. (Maja Hitij/Getty Images/File)

Canada's Moh Ahmed raced to another blistering time Tuesday night, and proved he's not just a world-class long-distance runner.

In what was a virtual sprint for the 5,000 and 10,000-metre specialist, the 29-year-old won the 1,500 in three minutes 34.89 seconds at the Bowerman Track Club intrasquad meet in Portland, Ore.

The time makes the Somalia-born, St. Catharines, Ont.-raised runner the fifth-fastest Canadian at the distance.

On July 10 in Portland, Ahmed shattered his own national record in the 5,000, running 12:47.20 to eclipse his previous mark of 12:53.16 set last summer in Rome when he became the first Canadian to dip under 13 seconds. The time vaulted the two-time Olympian to 10th all-time in the world.

WATCH | Moh Ahmed victorious at Bowerman Track Club meet:

29-year-old Moh Ahmed of St. Catharines, Ont., won the 1,500 metres race in three minutes 34.89 seconds at the Bowerman Track Club intrasquad meet in Portland, Ore. on Tuesday, July 21. 5:03

Tuesday's fast 1,500, in front of an empty stadium due to COVID-19, was just three seconds shy of Kevin Sullivan's Canadian record of 3:31.71 set in 2000.

Only three other Canadians have run faster than Ahmed over that distance: Graham Hood (3:33.94), Nate Brannen (3:34.22), and Charles Philibert-Thiboutot (3:34.23).

Ahmed won bronze in the 5,000 last October at the world track and field championships in Doha, Qatar.

"Third is good. This is a stepping stone," said Ahmed, who was looking ahead to 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics before it was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and rescheduled to July 2021.

WATCH | Moh Ahmed shatters his 5,000m Canadian record:

29-year-old Moh Ahmed of St. Catharines, Ont., ran the 5,000 metres race at the Portland Intersquad Meet in 12 minutes 47.20 seconds, bettering his previous mark of 12:53.16 set last summer in Rome. 18:09

In June, Athletics Canada recognized Ahmed's feat as the most outstanding performance of 2019 by awarding Ahmed the Cal D. Bricker Memorial Trophy.

Ahmed was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and moved to Canada at the age of 11. He trains with the Bowerman Track Club in Portland.

CBC Sports analyst Dave Moorcroft, who ran a world-record 13:00.41 in 1982, noted Ahmed has arrived as a serious medal contender and wondered if he was on the verge of "something special" come Tokyo.

"Medal contenders have a different mindset and aura, and I believe Moh has that," Moorcroft said. "He is now not just a fast runner but also a great racer and he has to believe he can take that to the next level."

With files from CBC Sports

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