Cam Levins hit Olympic standard in the marathon on Sunday, running 2:10:14 at a race in Austria. The tagline of the race, the S7 Marathon, is “Your last call to Tokyo,” and Levins took advantage of that final opportunity, beating the 2:11:30 Olympic standard for the first time in the qualifying period. He’s now the fourth Canadian to hit standard in the qualification window, and since Canada can only send three men to Tokyo, one of these Olympic-qualified runners won’t make the team.
Wow. @AthleticsCanada Men's Marathon selection also just got a lot more interesting. Having more than 3 Olympic qualifiers in an event is a nice problem to have, but I'm already feeling for athletes that won't be selected. (obviously @CamLevins from Canada, not USA in graphic). pic.twitter.com/UlwtFHaAbA
— Trent Stellingwerff (@TStellingwerff) May 23, 2021
In 2018, Levins ran his debut marathon, smashing the Canadian record with his 2:09:25 showing at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. In his next few races, he was unable to get near his PB, and the closest he came to the Olympic standard of 2:11:30 was with his 2:12:15 run at The Marathon Project in December 2020.
Since the qualification window opened in 2019, Levins has raced four marathons. His first came at STWM in 2019, where he fell well short of an automatic bid to the Tokyo Games, finishing in 2:15:01. Next was the elite-only London Marathon in October 2020, where he was on pace to beat standard for much of the run. Poor conditions wore him down, though, and he ended up pulling out of the race. The Marathon Project presented Levins with another qualifying opportunity, but he was unable to hit standard yet again.
On Sunday, he left those races in his past, powering to the win at the S7 Marathon and winning the chance to be named to the Canadian marathon team ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. Canadians Emily Setlack and Thomas Toth also raced in Austria, although neither hit standard (Setlack had a DNF and Toth ran 2:28:54).
— Jim McDannald, DPM (@jmcdannald) May 23, 2021
The men’s marathon picture
Trevor Hofbauer is the only Canadian man with a guaranteed spot on the start line of this summer’s Olympic marathon. Hofbauer booked his ticket to Tokyo at STWM in 2019, when he ran 2:09:51 and won the race, which doubled as the Canadian Olympic Marathon Trials. Tristan Woodfine was next up to hit standard, which he accomplished at the London Marathon in 2020. Woodfine battled the harsh conditions and ran a huge PB of 2:10:51.
A couple of months later, Ben Preisner ran a 2:10:17 debut at The Marathon Project, and for a long while it looked like he, Hofbauer and Woodfine would make up the Canadian men’s marathon team. After Levins’s run on Sunday, though, he has made matters more complicated. He now owns the second-fastest time in the qualifying period, but it’s ultimately up to Athletics Canada to decide who goes to Tokyo and who stays home.
For full results from the S7 Marathon, click here.