Both Canadian entrants–Justyn Knight and Mohammed Ahmed–in today’s qualifying round ran well in their respective heats and have successfully advanced to Saturday’s 5,000m final.

RELATED: Mohammed Ahmed and Justyn Knight are an amazing 1-2 punch

In the first of two heats, 21-year-old Justyn Knight stuck with the pack–even content to sit at or near the back at times–for the entire race before it came down to the final few laps. Then, with less than a kilometre to go, he systematically worked his way through the field passing several competitors on the outside and ultimately crossed the line in fourth in a time of 13:30.27 which was good for an automatic qualifier.

Knight should take a ton of confidence from this race having run toe to toe with some very talented athletes. Fresh off his gold medal win in the 10,000m, Britain’s Mo Farah is looking to double up and win the 5,000m as well. He finished second in the heat behind Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha and just ahead of Muktar Edris, both who will look to challenge Farah for the gold.

In the second heat, Mohammed Ahmed–the Canadian record holder in the event who also ran the 10,000m where he finished an impressive 8th setting a new national record–needed a fast time to get through to the finals and looked like he had to work for it at the end. The heat was a cagey one with lots of contact between athletes and even a dramatic fall from American Paul Kipkemoi Chelimo (who ultimately qualified as well).

The evening session in London hfeatured very wet conditions and at times, rain was pouring down and large puddles were seen on the track, not great conditions for fast running. In the end, the second heat was some 10 seconds faster than the first and as such, all five of the fastest time qualifiers came from this heat. The heat was won by Ethiopian Selemon Barega in 13:21.50 ahead of Bahrain’s Birhanu Balew and Kenya’s Cyrus Rutto. Mohammed finished sixth in 13:22.97 and was the first fastest time qualifier.

Saturday’s final will take place at 3:20 p.m. EST.


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