Who the heck made Canada’s 5,000m Olympic team after Thursday’s gong show?

The men's and women's 5,000m races were the two highlights of day one at the Canadian track and field championships in Edmonton (photo: Claus Andersen).

July 8th, 2016 by | Posted in Rio 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Mo Ahmed, Lucas Bruchet & Mike Tate are your 5000m podium at #ACTrials. (? Claus Andersen)

A photo posted by Athletics Canada (@athleticscanada) on

The 5,000m final for both the men and women were the biggest events on day one of the Canadian track and field championships and Olympic trials. You would think that the race confirmed who is going to the Olympics for Canada in the 5,000m yet plenty still remains unknown because of Athletics Canada’s qualifying criteria.

The championships are being held in Edmonton July 7-10.

So what are the criteria? Only the athletes who finish top-two AND have the Olympic standard automatically qualify for the Olympics. But because the national organizing committee can send three athletes per event, AC uses their discretion to name other runners to the team. Those athletes must have the standard but can have finished outside of the top two. The discretion is based upon competitive readiness, or in simple terms, the ability for athletes to display an ability to run well in Rio.

RELATED: Canada’s fastest-ever 10,000m man in serious jeopardy of missing Olympic team.

Andrea Seccafien (@aseccafien) talks the media after winning the #ACTrials 5000m.

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Here’s what we know about the 5,000m

Automatic qualifiers: Mo Ahmed, Luc Bruchet and Andrea Secaffien.

The three non-automatic qualifiers: Jessica O’Connell, Rachel Cliff, Cam Levins.

Ahmed and Bruchet are in for the men’s race because they have standard and went 1-2 at the trials. Secaffien is in because she won the women’s 5,000m and has standard.

For O’Connell and Cliff, both have run standard (15:24). O’Connell hit the standard in 2015 and has shown recent fitness by again running sub-15:24 in Portland on June 12. Cliff also ran standard (though for the first time) in June, which demonstrates her readiness (we think).

Relevant criteria

– The highest ranked non-automatic qualifier who finishes in the top-eight or top half of their field (whichever is smaller) of their event at nationals and has achieved the necessary qualifying standard within the qualifying window and has also showed their competitive readiness program may also be nominated for selection.
– The next highest ranked non-automatic qualifier who finishes in the top-eight or top half of their field (whichever is smaller) of their event at nationals having achieved the necessary qualifying standard within the qualifying window and has achieved their competitive readiness program may also be nominated for selection.

For Levins, his best 5,000m of 2016 is a 13:26 on May 28 in Eugene, Ore., just off the 13:25 standard. He ran the Olympic standard in 2015 but because a year has passed. It’s unclear whether his recent performances prove he is competitively ready. That’s a key question.

The 27-year-old admitted that he’s been battling an ankle injury for the past year. He has not run a 10,000m in 2016, has a good 800m time at altitude and a poor 1,500m time, all of which may or may not be used to determine his fitness.

Canadian Running‘s conclusion: O’Connell and Cliff will be in. Levins will be out, speaking only in terms of the 5,000m. Why? The two women showed competitive readiness in their event. Levins has not and has been injured.

Disagree? Vote below (multiple answers permitted) for who you think will be named to the team in addition to Ahmed, Bruchet and Secaffien.

In addition to the automatic qualifiers, who will be on the Canadian 5K Olympic team?

  • Jessica O'Connell (46%, 102 Votes)
  • Rachel Cliff (41%, 92 Votes)
  • Cam Levins (13%, 28 Votes)

Total Voters: 137

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For the purposes of Olympic qualifying, athletes without the Rio standard are not eligible to make the Canadian team. Sasha Gollish, for example, finished second in the women’s 5,000m but does not have standard. The official announcement of who will be representing Canada at the Games comes on July 11, the day after the trials finish.

RELATED: Lanni Marchant mimics Rio double in workout and crushes it.

Top-eight results*

Women

1. Andrea Seccafien 90 Saucony (UTTC) 16:00.42
2. Sasha Gollish 81 U of Toronto T.C 16:00.65
3. Jessica O’Connell 89 Asics (UCAC) 16:00.90
4. Rachel Cliff 88 VANCOUVER T-BIRD 16:10.98
5. Natasha Wodak 81 PRAIRIE INN 16:23.56
6. Lanni Marchant 84 LONDON WESTERN 16:40.14
7. Melanie Myrand 85 McGill Olympic Club 16:44.21
8. Mary Claire Geneau 92 U of Toronto T.C 16:47.31

Men

1. Mohammed Ahmed 91 Nike (ONOC) 14:00.93
2. Lucas Bruchet 91 Asics (TBIR) 14:02.37
3. Mike Tate 95 NS Unattched 14:02.86
4. Peter Corrigan 89 Running Room ON 14:05.68
5. Geoffrey Martinson 86 PRAIRIE INN 14:10.15
6. Barry Britt 90 SR New Balance 14:14.68
7. Cameron Levins 89 Nike (UNBC) 14:16.02
8. Kevin Tree 93 NEWMARKET HUSKIE 14:16.92
*Athletes in bold have the Athletics Canada 5,000m qualifying standard.