Canada's Moh Ahmed edges way into 5,000m final at World Athletics Championships

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Canada's Moh Ahmed, middle, seen during the Tokyo Games in 2021, will compete in the men’s 5,000m final scheduled for Sunday, the final night of competition at the World Athletics Championships. (The Canadian Press - image credit)
Canada's Moh Ahmed, middle, seen during the Tokyo Games in 2021, will compete in the men’s 5,000m final scheduled for Sunday, the final night of competition at the World Athletics Championships. (The Canadian Press - image credit)

Canadian long-distance runner Moh Ahmed is back in another 5,000-metre final at the world athletics championships.

The 31-year-old from St. Catharines, Ont., finished fifth in the second and final heat Thursday night inside Hayward Field to qualify for the final.

Ahmed stopped the clock in a time of 13:15.17 — he locked up the final automatic qualifying berth ahead of Kenya's Daniel Ebenyo by one one-thousandth of a second.

"Oh my god. The game has changed. Everybody is fit. Everybody is good. Everybody is good right now," Ahmed told CBC Sports after the race.

"It was hot out there. Everybody was working hard. I'm happy to get it done and give myself another two days of rest."

WATCH | Canada's Ahmed qualifies for 5,000m final:

The men's 5,000m is scheduled for Sunday, the final night of competition at worlds.

"I didn't realize we separated. I don't know when that happened. I just wanted to stay up there. And just get an automatic Q," Ahmed said.

Charles Philibert-Thiboutot was also competing for Canada in the 5000m heats Thursday night.

The 31-year-old from Quebec City, in his debut in this distance at worlds, finished in a time of 13.38.80. He did not advance to the final.

Now Ahmed will have a chance to add to what's become a long list of achievements in his career, specifically as it relates to the 5,000m.

And he can't wait to get back out on the track.

"Position. Position. Position. Fight hard. Let them know who I am," Ahmed said.

It was this event three years ago at the world championships in Doha that catapulted Ahmed into a different track and field stratosphere.

On that late-September night in 2019, Ahmed seemed poised for the podium after taking the lead late in the race. However with about 500 metres left, Ahmed dropped to fifth position.

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

He needed a memorable kick to the finish to secure bronze at Khalifa International Stadium, which he was able to find.

It marked the first time in Canada's history an athlete had won a medal in a long-distance event at the world championships.

Then last summer in Tokyo at the Olympics, Ahmed had another memorable finish.

This time though, it was good enough for silver — that was Canada's first Olympic medal in a long distance track event.

This is Ahmed's fourth world championships competing for Canada.

Canada's Brown seventh in 200m

Canada's Aaron Brown was seventh in a sizzling 200 metres.

The 30-year-old from Toronto ran 20.18 seconds.

American Noah Lyles ran 19.31 — the fastest time in the world this season — to crush a field missing Canada's Olympic champion Andre De Grasse. De Grasse, who said he's still not 100 per cent after battling COVID-19, withdrew after struggling in the 100 earlier in the week.

WATCH l Canada's Brown finishes 7th in 200m world race:

"Disappointed, I'm hurt, but it's part of the game right? Sometimes things don't turn out your way," Brown said. "You just have to keep digging, keep fighting and keep going back to the drawing board, figure what to do to be ready for the next moment."

Lyles, who finished runner-up to De Grasse at the Tokyo Olympics, let out a huge roar after he crossed the line, then grabbed the neck of his bodysuit with two hands and ripped it down the front.

Americans swept the podium with Kenny Bednarek taking the silver in 19.77, and Erriyon Knighton finishing third (19.80).

Jackson celebrates 200 win at worlds after Tokyo heartache

Jamaica's Shericka Jackson can finally go watch the replay. The one of the race where she gave away her chance to be an Olympic champion.

She's now a world champion, a more-than-satisfying reward after a year in which she trained with the goal of never making the same mistake again.

The 28-year-old executed the curve perfectly and ran the 200 metre in the second-fastest time ever, 21.45 seconds, to lead a Jamaican 1-2 finish on Thursday night at the world championships. She beat 100-metre champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to the finish line by 0.36.

Jackson was among the medal favoruites last year in Tokyo, but a miscalculation midway through her preliminary heat caused her to slow down. By the time she'd realized what happened, she couldn't catch up. She finished fourth and didn't get to run in the final.

Defending champion Dina Asher-Smith of Britain took bronze and prevented this from being a back-to-back sprint sweep for the Jamaicans, a la what the Americans did in the men's 100 and 200.

Top U.S. decathlete banned from worlds

American decathlon champion Garrett Scantling is not at the world championships this week in the wake of a ban for missed doping tests.

Scantling, who finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics last year, was left off the 151-person American team when it was announced earlier this month; the fourth-place finisher at this year's nationals, Steven Bastien, was on the team. No reason was given at the time.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released news that Scantling was serving a provisional suspension that began Thursday — opening day for the decathlon —for a potential tampering violation that "stems from Scantling's conduct during an investigation into his third potential whereabouts failure."

Athletes are required to provide their schedules to anti-doping authorities so they can send doping-control officers to administer no-notice, out-of-competition tests. The third time an athlete cannot be located over a certain period can result in a penalty.

USADA said Scantling agreed to have his provisional suspension made public while his case is pending.

Scantling, who previously tried out for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars, won the nationals in May with 8,867 points, which is the highest score in the world this year.

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