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Knight, Wodak, Smeeton get World Championship standard at Payton Jordan

Three Canadians achieve world standard in their opening outdoor races

On Friday evening, Justyn Knight and Natasha Wodak both hit the World Championship standard at the Payton Jordan Invitational and are one step closer to making it to the champs this coming October.


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Knight ran a 13:20.80 for 5,000m, only 3 seconds off of his personal best to open his outdoor track season and likely book his ticket to the World Championships. Knight was patient in his race, knowing that indoor mile world record holder Yomif Kejelcha was out front crushing a 13:10.72 to take the win, leaving the chase pack with 500m to go. Knight ended up finishing sixth in a very strong field.


In the women’s 5,000m, Canadian Erica Digby didn’t quite hit standard but she did run a killer race finishing in 15:39.10 to run a personal best by 15 seconds.

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In Wodak’s race the women were paced by 2017 World Championship steeplechase gold medallist Emma Coburn. Coburn took the women through over 6,600m before dropping and letting Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands take the lead. Hassan ran her debut 10K in 31:18.12 which is the fifth fastest time run this year.


Wodak was also patient, remaining in a chase pack with Canadian marathon record holder Rachel Cliff and Dominique Scott. Cliff finished in 31:54.88 just off of Wodak’s 31:43.26. Wodak’s Canadian record is 31:41.

In the men’s 3,000m steeplechase, Ryan Smeeton also ran the world championship standard in 8:27.90. Smeeton is a Calgary native who’s also a junior at Oklahoma State University.

Canadian results

Women’s 800m: Laurence Cote 2:03.69, Madeleine Kelly 2:03.96, Ashley Taylor 2:04.35

Women’s steeplechase: Charlotte Prouse 9:56.01, Kate Ayers 10:00.09

Men’s steeplechase: Ryan Smeeton 8:27.90, Jean-Simon Desgagnes 8:29.10, John Gay 8:31.40

Men’s 1,500m: Moh Ahmed 3:41.59, Adam Palamar 3:42.11, Matt Hughes 3:43.98

Women’s 1,500m: Mariah Kelly 4:13.79

Men’s 5,000m: Justyn Knight 13:20.80, Keiran Lumb 14:17.15, Jack Sheffar 14:25.40

Women’s 5,000m: Jess O’Connell 15:30.61, Erica Digby 15:39.10

Women’s 10,000m: Natasha Wodak 31:43.26, Rachel Cliff 31:54.88

Men’s 10,000m: Rory Linkletter 28:12.42, Ben Flanagan 28:19.51