File photo from national cross country championships

© Copyright – 2017 – Athletics Illustrated

Toronto’s Justyn Knight made a statement during the 2017 London IAAF World Track and Field Championships Saturday, where he finished in ninth place in the 5,000-metre final. It was another impressive move forward in his career.

He finished less than seven seconds behind the winner Muktar Edris of Ethiopia. Edris won in the time of 13:32.79. Knight crossed the finish line in the time of 13:39.15. The legendary Mo Farah of Great Britain was dethroned in this race finishing second in 13:33.22, while American Paul Chelimo (formerly of Kenya) earned bronze with a finish of 13:33.30. Knight was less than six seconds from medalling.

“I think the best way to describe my feelings toward this championship is happy but not satisfied,” shared the Syracuse University athlete. “Finishing ninth in the world is a huge honour, however, I know that moving forward I need to expect more from myself.”

The 21-year-old blossomed during his grade 11 and 12 years at St. Michael’s College School, where he won the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) cross-country championships in 2013. His rise has been steady, which includes a competitive performance in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships with a 22nd place finish. His NCAA career has been nothing short of spectacular with several top-five finishes at the national championships in cross-country as well as on the track in the 3,000m and 5,000m distances.

His personal best in the 5,000m event is one of the all-time best Canadian results at 13:17.51. Only three Canadians have run faster, Cameron Levins, Jeffrey Schiebler and Mo Ahmed who currently holds the national record at 13:01.74. He also owns the Canadian 10,000m record at 27:02.35, which he set during the 2017 world championships.

Ahmed was in the race as well and finished sixth with his 13:35.43.

To have two Canadians in the top-nine is impressive and more-so by their finish times – a handful of seconds from glory. The future for Canadian distance running looks bright.

“It was a great learning experience and I can’t wait to compete on the world stage again.”