Moh Ahmed shattered his own Canadian record in the 5,000 metres at the Portland Intersquad Meet.
The 29-year-old from St. Catharines, Ont., won the race in 12 minutes 47.20 seconds, bettering his previous mark of 12:53.16 set last summer in Rome.
Ahmed, who became the first Canadian to dip under the 13-minute mark when he broke his previous record last summer, cracked the world’s top-10 all-time list of 5,000 runners with Friday night’s result.
He won bronze in the 5,000 last Oct. 3 at the world track and field championships in Doha, Qatar.
The Canadian runner worked his way to the front of the pack with 500 metres left at a hot and humid Khalifa International Stadium.
Ahmed stumbled 100 metres later after being clipped, dropped to fifth with 150 to go before surging on the straightaway to finish in bronze position in 13:01.11. his first medal in the event at a major championship.
“Third is good. This is a stepping stone,” added Ahmed, who was looking ahead to 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics before it was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and rescheduled to July 2021.
A month ago, Athletics Canada recognized Ahmed’s feat as the most outstanding performance of 2019 by awarding Ahmed the Cal D. Bricker Memorial Trophy
Ahmed was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and moved to Canada at the age of 11. He trains with the Bowerman Track Club in Portland.
CBC Sports analyst Dave Moorcroft, who ran a world-record 13:00.41 in 1982, noted Ahmed has arrived as a serious medal contender and wondered if he was on the verge of “something special” come Tokyo.
“Medal contenders have a different mindset and aura, and I believe Moh has that,” Moorcroft said. “He is now not just a fast runner but also a great racer and he has to believe he can take that to the next level.”