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Canada’s Justyn Knight was seeking a win, not necessarily a sub-13-minute performance, during the Florence Diamond League 5000m race where he finished fifth on Thursday.

Mo Ahmed (L) and Justyn Knight (R) photo: social media

Knight did run a big personal best and became just the second Canadian to breach the 13-minute benchmark with a 12:51.93 performance. Finishing sixth was the world record holder Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei. Cheptegei broke Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year-old record of 12:37.35 with a 12:35.36 clocking in August last year.

“Heading into this performance, the only thing I was focusing on was putting myself in a position to win and then executing,” Knight told Athletics Illustrated.

The 24-year-old Toronto native will continue to race that way.

“That has been my focus in all of my races this season. Unfortunately, I fell short of that. But with a little more work I think I will be better next time.”

Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen won the race on Thursday. In doing so he broke the 21-year-old European record with a 12:48.45 performance. It is a world-leading time for 2021 and puts him in a good position towards next month’s Tokyo Olympic Games.

Finishing in second place was Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet in the time of 12:49.02. He owns a personal best of 12:45.82 from 2018. Third was Canadian record holder Mo Ahmed who clocked a 12:50.12. Spanish runner Katir Mohamed was nearly half a second back of Ahmed at 12:50.79. Ahmed’s Canadian record was set in July 2020 at 12:47.20.

Full results are available here>>

The Diamond League series will continue in Oslo, Norway on July 1.

The full series schedule is available here>>

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