Beijing, China – Canada had a strong day on the track at the 2015 IAAF World Championships highlited by Mohammed Ahmed of St. Catherines, Ont., moving on to the men’s 5000-metres final. Fiona Benson of Dawson Creek, B.C., and Melissa Bishop of Eganville, Ont., made it through to the women’s 800-metre semi-finals, Jonathan Cabral of Péribonka, Que., and Sekou Kaba of Ottawa, Ont., made it through to the semis of the 110-metre hurdles, while Kim Hyacinthe of Terrebonne, Que., and Khamica Bingham of Brampton, Ont., advanced to the women’s 200-metre semis.
Mohammed Ahmed executed a great race to place third in heat 2 of the men’s 5000-metres in a seasonal best of 13:19.58. Drama unfolded as Ahmed was through to the final in initial results having nabbed one of the auto-qualifying spots, however updated results showed a disqualification for IAAF rule 163.2 for pushing, obstructing or jostling a competitor. Athletics Canada launched an appeal and Mohammed was reinstated. “There was a lot of jostling at the beginning and I tried to stay out of it, stayed at the back for the most part, looked for opening and navigated through the traffic. I got one of the five qualifiers so I’m happy; there was a lot of jostling. I felt really smooth out there” On advancing to the final, “I hope to be as competitive as I can, stick my nose in it and see what happen.” The best finish by a Canadian athlete at Worlds in the men’s 5000-metres is from Carey Nelson who finished 15th in 1987.
Cam Levins of Black Creek, B.C., was 9th in heat 1 of the men’s 5000-metres in 13:48.72 and did not advance to the final. “I’m doing alright, I’ve had a problem the last month and a half, have been trying to keep it under wraps, was trying to continue to focus and do the best I can. Missed some training with a couple different things, obviously I just wasn’t fit enough. I felt good, the healthiest in awhile, but when you miss training it catches up with you. It’s been one thing after another (ribs then ankle). Today was better than the 10,000-metres, this is the best I could do today, just wasn’t prepared as I should be. It’s been downhill since my fall at nationals.”
Brendon Rodney of Brampton, Ont., finished eighth in the first semi-final of the men’s 200-metres in 20.46, “It didn’t go as I wanted, it’s been a long season. NCAAs, Canadian nationals, then Pan Ams, I’m not mad, I improved; now I just need to move on. I’m ready to run the relay, that’s always fun.”
Fiona Benson placed second in the third heat of the women’s 800-metres to auto-qualify for the semi-finals with a time of 2:00.53. “It was hot and hard out there, that was my first world class outdoors 800-metres, I’m just happy to be through, never dreamed I would be heading to a World Championships semi-final.”
Melissa Bishop also advanced to the semis of the women’s 800-metres; she won heat 6 in 2:00.23. “It felt comfortable, the goal was to be top three, I didn’t want to qualify with a little q, wanted the top 3, that was the little slip through the two girls, wanted to make sure it was secured, didn’t know who was coming behind me. My coach (Dennis Fairall) said to just run my race, he was confident in me, said everything would be fine. It was a really tough start to the year, two really major injuries. I’m thankful to be here, be in shape, and be strong; you take that for granted. We work so hard to get here, it’s great to move on to the next round.”
Jonathan Cabral was fourth in heat 3 of the 110-metre hurdles in 13.55 to advance to the semi-final, “Plan for the semis is the same, go out and try and advance, I need to work on my start, and stay clean over the hurdles. It wasn’t my best race, horrible start and a little sloppy in the middle, thankfully I managed to recover and make up some ground in the end.”
Sekou Kaba placed fourth in heat 5 in 13.46 to also advance to the semi-finals of the 110-metre hurdles, “I’m pleased, I came in with a clear mind and doing what it takes to move on, that’s exactly what I did. No pre-race jitters, I don’t get those. We’re here to compete, compete we must. The goal in the next round is the same, do what it takes to move on.”
Kimberley Hyacinthe raced to a time of 23.03 in heat 3 of the women’s 200-metres, good for third place and an auto-qualification to the semi-finals. “I knew I had to be top three, I didn’t want to spend to much energy, still wanted to make sure I got though. The mood with the team is very positive, lots of great performances, makes you want to come out and be a part of that.”
Khamica Bingham advances to the 200-metre semi-finals with a time of 22.90 in heat 4. “My goal is to make it to the final, I was pretty close to a personal best running out of lane 9, did what I had to do to qualify, looking for a personal best in the next round.”
Crystal Emmanuel of Pickering, Ont., placed fourth in the fifth heat of the 200-metres in 23.22. Crystal did not qualify for the semis. “I came out here to do my best, I’m kind of disappointed, hopefully the time is good enough to sneak into the semis (it wasn’t).”
Sultana Frizell of Perth, Ont., placed 13th in women’s hammer throw qualifying with a best throw of 69.66-metres, missing the final by only 13 centimetres.