Mo Ahmed continued his record-setting year, breaking another Canadian record Friday at the track and field world championships in London.
Racing in the day’s marquee event against hometown superstar Mo Farah, Ahmed became the fast Canadian male to run the 10,000 metres in placing eighth.
Ahmed finished in 27 minutes 2.35 seconds to break Cam Levins’ national record of 27:07.51, set May 29, 2015. Olympic champion Farah finished first — his third consecutive world title — in 26:49.51 in front of a raucous crowd of 55,000.
But Ahmed, of St. Catharines, Ont., is tired of hearing about all the Canadian marks he has been putting his name atop of.
“Honestly, one of the things that I’m really sick of is ‘best Canadian finish,’ ‘best Canadian this.’ I want to be the best in the world,” Ahmed told Canadian Press after the race. “That’s essentially what I’m working towards. I dislike hearing those words, best Canadian finish. You want to be the best in the world.”
In his pursuit of that the Bowerman Track Club runner has spent this season wiping Levins’ name from the Canadian record book.
At the Millrose Games in February he ran the indoor two-mile event in a time of 8:13:16, breaking Levins’ mark of 8:14.69. Two weeks later he ran an indoor 5,000 metres in 13:04.60, beating Levins’ 2014 time of 13:19.16 by nearly 15 seconds.
Levins happy for Ahmed
Levins, though, couldn’t be happier for Ahmed, who he calls a friend and a great athlete deserving of the Canadian record.
“I’m happy that he ran well,” Levins said. “Records are meant to be broken. I can’t go and complain that someone else ran a good race.”
Levins followed Ahmed’s race on Friday from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he is running the Beach to Beacon 10-kilometre road race on Saturday.
Levins, who recently parted from coach Alberto Salazar and the famous Nike Oregon project training group to reunite with his college coach at Southern Utah University, said he likes having strong competitors in Canada.
“Over the last couple of years his 5k has improved, so I think it was just a matter of time until he got into a good, fast 10k and put down a strong time,” Levins said of Ahmed. “Part of it is just being in the right race and he was.
“It was super competitive and you couldn’t ask for a better field. He got pushed the entire time, didn’t have to sit, wait and not doing any work, and was rewarded for it.”
Ahmed redeems Rio finish
Ahmed wanted to…