Mohammed Ahmed, Justyn Knight and Ben Flanagan put on a show in the 5,000m last night at the Canadian Track and Field Championships.
The race went out slow, only breaking apart with 800m to go. In the final 500m, the men were nearing full speed. Ahmed won in 14:36.09. Flanagan was in second with 70 metres to go, but Knight out-leaned him at the line. Knight finished in 14:36.56 with Flanagan just behind him in 14:36.66.
Ahmed has secured a spot at the NACAC Championships in Toronto this August.
Flanagan’s father, Ron, was very happy with Ben’s race, “This is how he thought it would go out. Nice and easy to start, and then the race will really get going with around a kilometre to go.”
Spectators were allowed onto the track to get close to the action, and motivate the athletes.
In the women’s 5,000m, Victoria Coates took the race out hard, running away from the rest of the field. Coates was eventually caught by Jessica O’Connell, Andrea Seccafien and Sasha Gollish with 800m to go. O’Connell kicked hard but couldn’t hold off Seccafien, who is the defending champion. Seccafien won in 16:05.60.
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In men’s 800m T34/53 wheelchair action, Brent Lakatos sailed to a victory in 1:31.91. Lakatos has been Canada’s king of wheelchair racing for the past four years.
In steeplechase action, Olympian and World Championship finalist Matt Hughes remained in the pack for most of the race, until 400m to go when he dropped a 64 second final lap. That’s 64 seconds over water and hurdles.
Hughes had a close call, tripping over the final water jump but regained composure to run a time of 8:54.00.
In the women’s steeplechase, Olympian Genevieve Lalonde won handily. Lalonde finished strong to run a 9:49.07. Second place went to Regan Yee, and third place to Charlotte Prouse.
Tonight is the De Grasse and Brown showdown in the 100m. Catch Friday’s action on Athletics Canada TV or live at Terry Fox Stadium in Ottawa.