Canada's Moh Ahmed runs season-best 5,000m time at Rome Diamond League

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Canada's Moh Ahmed, seen above at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fifth in the men's 5,000 metres at a Diamond League meet in Rome on Thursday. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images - image credit)
Canada's Moh Ahmed, seen above at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fifth in the men's 5,000 metres at a Diamond League meet in Rome on Thursday. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images - image credit)

Canada's Moh Ahmed is trending in the right direction.

The St. Catharines, Ont., distance runner posted a season-best time of 12 minutes 55.84 seconds to place fifth in the 5,000 metres at the Diamond League Golden Gala event in Rome on Thursday.

Ahmed, 31, finished a spot higher at the Prefontaine Classic last month, but in a slower time of 13:07.85. His personal best in the distance is 12:47.20 and he took the Olympic silver medal in Tokyo after crossing the finish line in 12:50.12.

Kenyans took the top two spots in the race, with Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli finishing first with a world-leading time of 12:46.33 and Jacob Krop following less than a second behind in 12:46.79.

The premiere event in Rome was the women's 200m, where Jamaican Shericka Jackson emerged from a stacked field to win with a meet-record time of 21.91 seconds. Elaine Thompson-Herah, the five-time Olympic champion who was undefeated in 2022 Diamond League entering Thursday while racing exclusively 100m, crossed just behind Jackson at 22.25.

WATCH | Jackson takes top spot in women's 200m:

Dina Asher-Smith of the U.K., who owns a pair of Olympic bronze medals, rounded out the top three.

American Allyson Felix, the most decorated female Olympic track athlete ever, was seventh in her Diamond League season debut at 22.97. Felix, 36, announced in April this would be her final season.

"I'm glad that I came here, glad that I got to see everybody and I'm looking forward to the next chapter," Felix said. "It's definitely emotional, mixed feelings. But no regrets. I'm really grateful for all the years I had."

Lindsey Butterworth, 29, from Burnaby, B.C., placed eighth in the women's 800m at 1:59.93, well behind the world-leading time set by American Athing Mu, who won Olympic gold in the distance, at 1:57.01.

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, of London, Ont., was on the original start list for the event before pulling out with a hip injury.

Her agent Dan Lilot told CBC Sports recently he doesn't believe the injury will prevent DeBues-Stafford, who was fifth in the 1,500m at the Tokyo Olympics, from competing in the Canadian Championships in two weeks.

The world championships begin on July 15 in Eugene, Ore.

Nettey returns to Diamond League

Two-time Olympic long jumper Christabel Nettey, competing at her first Diamond League event since 2019, placed fifth with a top jump of 6.69m.

The 31-year-old native of Surrey, B.C., who was 22nd in Tokyo, had surpassed 6.75m at three of her past four meets.

In men's high jump, Django Lovett of Surrey, B.C., placed eighth, failing to clear 2.2 metres after easily getting over a 2.15-metre bar.

The 29-year-old won the event at Birmingham Diamond League last month after placing third at the season opener in Qatar.

Kerley soars to 100m victory

American sprinter Fred Kerley was the only man to break the 10-second barrier in the 100, posting a season-best 9.92 with a big enough margin to start celebrating before he crossed the finish line.

The 100 was missing Marcell Jacobs, the Italian who won gold ahead of Kerley in Tokyo and then helped Italy to another unexpected victory in the 4x100 relay.

WATCH | Kerley runs away with 100m victory:

Jacobs, who is recovering from a muscular injury, was in attendance at the Stadio Olimpico to salute the crowd, though, as the meet celebrated the seven Italians who won Olympic gold in athletics last year.

Watch a replay of the Rome Diamond League event on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on CBC-TV, CBCSports.ca and the CBC Sports app.

Diamond League returns next Thursday with a meet on Oslo. Live streaming of the event will be available on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem at 2 p.m. ET.

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