The Doha World Championships 5,000m was a big race for Mohammed Ahmed. In previous world championships, his best finish in the 5,000m was sixth in 2017 in London. At the 2019 worlds in Qatar, he took a giant leap onto the podium after a gutsy 13-minute battle to take home the bronze medal.
Ahmed was in the mix the entire race, and with two laps to go, he found himself at the front of the lead pack. He looked smooth as the group completed the penultimate lap, and then he avoided a near-catastrophe when Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen clipped his heel. For a moment, it looked like he would fall down and lose any hope of a medal, but he somehow managed to stay on his feet and regain his composure.
With 200 metres left, Ingebrigtsen, the USA’s Paul Chelimo and Ethiopians Muktar Edris and Selemon Barega passed Ahmed, but he held onto the group. After the race, he said that his race plan was “to be a driver and not a passenger.” Going around the final turn and into the finishing stretch, Ahmed took control of his race, repassing the American and Norwegian with a massive surge to secure the bronze medal. It would’ve been easy to give up with 200 metres to go after getting passed by four runners, but Ahmed dug deep and drove home to an incredible finish and our Performance of the Year.
Dayna Pidhoresky–2019 Canadian Marathon Championships
At the start line of this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Dayna Pidhoresky’s PB in the marathon was over six minutes off the Olympic standard time of 2:29:30. At the finish line 42.2K later, she had lowered her lifetime best by seven minutes, dipping under the Olympic standard in a time of 2:29:03 to win the Canadian Championships. Pidhoresky ran hard from the start and built a sizeable gap between herself and the other Canadian women on-course. Her pace slowed in the final few kilometres of the race, but by that point she was far enough ahead that she would not be caught on her way to booking her ticket for Tokyo 2020.
Trevor Hofbauer–2019 Canadian Marathon Championships
Entering the Canadian Marathon Championships, Trevor Hofbauer’s marathon PB of 2:16:48 was over five minutes off the Olympic standard of 2:11:30, and although he was the 2017 Canadian marathon champion, few were betting on him to take the win. Seemingly unfazed by this, Hofbauer, like Pidhoresky, ran to a seven-minute PB, an Olympic qualifying time and the Canadian championship. For the first 30K or so, he ran with Canadian marathon record-holder Cam Levins. By the 35K mark, Hofbauer had dropped Levins, and he closed out the race on his own to finish in 2:09:51, the second-fastest marathon ever run by a Canadian, earning him a spot on the Canadian team for Tokyo 2020.