© Copyright – 2019 – Athletics Illustrated

Canadians continue to re-write the national record books in the sport of track and field.

One of the most impressive performances may have been by Mohammed Ahmed from St. Catharines, Ontario, who took down the Canadian 5,000-metre record of 13:01.74 with a sub-13 performance at the Rome Diamond League meet on Thursday.

He finished in the time of 12:58.16.

Toronto’s Justyn Knight also ran well setting a new personal best and finishing 10th in 13:09.76. Eighteen of 19 finishers ran either the world lead, season best or personal best in that race.

At the front of the race, it was Ethiopians who went 1-2-3 to take all three podium positions. Telahun Haile Bekele won in the time of 12:52.98. In second was Selemon Barega with his 12:53.04 performance, while Hagos Gebrhiwet took third in 12:54.92.

At the same meet, Windsor, ON native Brandon McBride won the 800-metre race in the time of 1:43.90 – a seasonal best. Winning the race was American Donavan Brazier in 1:43.63 for the world lead this year. Nijel Amos of Botswana was hot on his tale at 1:43.65. McBride owns the national record of 1:43.20 which he set in Monaco last year.

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford set a new personal best in the 1500m event going 4:01.28. Her personal best was more than two seconds slower at 4:03.55 from Berlin in 2017. She finished 25th at the 2016 Rio Olympics and out of the finals.

Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba won the race in 3:56.28. She is the current world record holder with her 3:50.07 from Monaco in 2015. Scot, Laura Muir finished second in 3:56.73, while Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay just got under four minutes with her 3:59.96.

For DeBues-Stafford, this performance comes just two weeks after breaking the national 5,000m record with a stunning 14:51.59 in the Stockholm Diamond League meet. Clearly, training in Scotland with Laura Muir has helped DeBues-Stafford. The previous record was held by Courtney Babcock from August of 2003 at 14:54.98.

Rome Diamond League results are here>>

Shoestrings: Other Canadian finishes included Sage Watson of Medicine Hat, AB who finished seventh in the 400m hurdles with a new seasonal best of 55.71. Django Lovett of Surrey, BC finished ninth in the men’s high jump with his 2.19m effort; Johnathan Cabral of Peribonka, QC, in the 110m hurdles stopped the clock at 13.61 for eighth position.

In the men’s shotput Tim Nedow of Brockville, ON put the distance of 20.57m for seventh place.

Adopted, but-not-quite-Canadian yet, Sarah Inglis of Scotland, who trains in Greater Vancouver with the Langley Mustangs Endurance Group was named to the national team for Great Britain in the 10,000m event along with Eilish McColgan, daughter of Liz McColgan.

Inglis told Athletics Illustrated, “I’m really excited to be selected in a strong team for European Cup. I will be racing the 10,000m at the Pacific Distance Carnival next Thursday [June 13]! So, I will be looking for a solid 10K that sets up the trials in London.”

The Diamond League’s next meet takes place in Oslo, Norway with their legendary meet on Thursday, June 13. The Diamond League is a 14-meet series at the highest level in track and field in the world. The series starts annually in May in Doha, Qatar, home of the 2019 IAAF World Track and Field Championships and wraps up in September in Brussels, Belgium on September 6, 2019.

In the 200m, American Michael Norman set the world season lead with a 19.70 performance. He was chased to the line by fellow American Noah Lyles who ran a seasons best 19.72. Alex Quinonez finished third in 20.17.

Speed River Inferno:

Melissa Bishop-Nriagu continues to seek her top fitness after taking more than a year off to start a family. She won the 800m event in the time of 2:01.10. She owns the national record of 1:57.01 from Monaco, 2017.

Jenna Westaway finished second in 2:01.80, while Sioffra Cleirigh-Buttner of Ireland finished in 2:01.91. Full results are available here>>

Canadian meets of note: Thursday, June 13 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, BC (Vancouver) will see the brand new Pacific Distance Carnival, which apparently will borrow from the very successful Night of 10,000m of London, UK. The following week is the Harry Jerome Track Classic at the same location.

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