Mohammed Ahmed had a fantastic 2019 World Championships. He won a historic bronze medal for Canada in the 5,000m, and broke his own Canadian record and a huge barrier to run a 26:59.35 in the 10,000m. Ahmed is very happy with his season and says that his accomplishments feels relieving more than anything. “It feels good, it’s something I’ve been working really hard towards. It feels like I got the monkey off my back.”
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Doha part two — It is said: “It takes a village to raise a child” and mine stretches far beyond borders and bodies of water. There are so many people to thank for all that I’ve been able to accomplish this season. And in no particular order: 1. Jerry and Pascal thank you for taking a chance on a skinny Canadian kid with plenty to learn. I was very close to walking away from the sport upon completing my collegiate career at Wisconsin. I had been to the Olympics, World championships and it seemed very little was left for me to seek besides unfulfilled potential. Jerry and pascal saw that and reached out. At the 11th hour I decided to give it a go for at least a year in Portland and see what comes of it. Portland been home almost 5 years now. Jerry and Pascal’s belief in me has been the difference 2. Bowerman Track Club, my guys and gals thank you for being beside me each and every day helping me along the way with the hard miles. It would not have been as fun or easy rolling out of bed each and every day without you guys. I can’t wait to get back to work with everyone and look forward to the adventures and hard work that lay ahead and excited for what we will accomplish together in 2020. 3. My sponsors thank you for your continued support. None of this would be possible without you. 4. My family, life would not taste as sweet without your love and presence. Love you. 5. Treatment folks, especially Marilou (@marilou_lamy)thank you for all you’ve done for me this year. I appreciate your knowledge, your belief and sacrifice. Mr.Gibson … I mean Gibbons (@nw_natural.9 )thank you for all you do for us! We appreciate your hard work and sacrifice you make being away from your family months on end. Dr. Penny, I can’t express in words or repay you for all that you’ve done for me. You’ve been a rock star! Thank you. 6. Aurum Sports Group, Thank you to Dan and Steffen for all the work behind the scenes. 7. Running community and all who have reached out with messages of encouragement and support! I appreciate the kind words and love. Thank you!
Ahmed trains with the Bowerman Track Club, one of the most successful clubs in the world. He says that medals are pretty common around their group, and he’s excited to have one now too. “Over the past four years, many of my teammates were able to deliver medals, so I was one of the only ones who hadn’t. Watching my teammates do those things I thought: man, I’d like to do that as well. This medal feels validating.” Ahmed had come so close before, finishing fourth at the Rio Olympics, but was never able to land himself on the podium.
The multi-time Canadian record-holder says that he’s been ready for performances like this for a long time. “More than anything, I’m very proud of how I executed the race [5,000m]. My plan was to take it with three laps to go. I had been a passenger in races in the past, but at Worlds I wasn’t willing to be a passenger any more.”
The 5,000m involved a shocking number of pace changes for Ahmed. “I fell back and then re-accelerated to get into medal position–that’s something I’m really proud of. That last gear was born out of desire. From what I can recall, I thought about all of the times I staggered down the backstretch and finished fifth or sixth. I attacked it as hard as I could and I found something.”
Ahmed says his experience in Doha has been positive, despite the extremely warm weather. “I’ve never experienced heat like that in my life. I was wondering how people live there.”
Ahmed was determined to snag a medal, and he’s thrilled with his accomplishment. “I’ve had it in my mind to get a medal for a really long time and I’m so excited it’s finally happened.” But there is no complacency in Ahmed’s tone–he’s got his eyes on Tokyo and putting himself in the conversation for a medal there. The Canadian isn’t looking to be good, he’s looking to be great and his World Championship bronze medal is a huge step in the right direction.