Ahmed breaks his own Canadian record with sixth-place finish in 10K at worlds

DOHA, Qatar — Mohammed Ahmed broke his own national record in the men’s 10,000 metres on Sunday as Canada was held off the podium on the final day of the world track and field championships.

Ahmed, from St. Catharines, Ont., finished in 26 minutes 59.35 seconds, trimming three seconds from his old mark. Canada finished fifth in the women’s 4×400-metre relay later in the day in 3:25.91 but were later disqualified.

The results left Canada with five medals overall (one silver, four bronze), a significant improvement for the national side after being shut out two years ago in London.

“I’m very happy with the outcome here,” said Canadian head coach Glenroy Gilbert. “We have Andre (De Grasse) back, some experienced athletes performing at the next level and new younger athletes showing themselves. While we are generally satisfied with our results here, we will not rest on our laurels.

“We will do a full assessment and review post-championships to continue to improve and work towards the ultimate goal of performing at our best in Tokyo.”

De Grasse was the lone Canadian to make two trips to the podium. He won bronze in the 100 metres with a personal-best time of 9.90 seconds and took silver in the 200 with a time of 19.95.

The other Canadian medallists — Evan Dunfee in the men’s 50K race walk, Ahmed in the men’s 5,000 metres and Damian Warner in the men’s decathlon — all earned bronze.

Ahmed was one of four Canadians to set new national records at the competition. He got under the 27-minute barrier with a time of 26:59.35, taking three seconds off his previous mark.

“I’ve arrived now,” he said. “People know who I am, I just need to keep getting better. I’m a little disappointed, wanted (another) medal, but getting a sub-27 I should be celebrating that a bit more. I’m sure when I get back to the hotel, I’ll give myself a pat on the back. But in the end I wanted another medal.”

In the 4×400, Alicia Brown, Aiyanna-Brigitte Stiverne, Madeline Price, and Sage Watson were DQ’ed due to a lane infringement during the first exchange.

“We competed with everything we got today,” Price said. “We have such a deep pool, we’ll get faster, working together at the relay camps, and I have a really good feeling about this team going forward to Tokyo.”

Canada’s best showing at the world championships was an eight-medal performance in 2015 at Beijing.

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