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Mohammed Ahmed sets Canadian Record in 10000m final; Newman and Newell advance to pole vault final

Day one of the 2017 IAAF World Championships was punctuated by a Canadian record by Mohammed Ahmed of St. Catharines, Ont., in the 10,000-metres final. Ahmed finished eighth in a time of 27:02.35, improving Cam Levin’s previous record of 27:07.51 set in 2015.

“You can’t be disappointed in a race where you covered every more, you stuck to the plan, and ran the race the way you wanted to. I’m not disappointed on the race, I’m just disappointed I’m not stepping on the podium, that wasn’t enough to get me on the podium. Last year (at the Rio Olympics) I was dead last in the 10,000-metres, that was a big motivation to come back this year and take revenge.”

Ahmed will race again Wednesday August 9 in the heats of the 5,000-metres. He was 4th at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 5,000-metres.

Nicole Sifuentes of Winnipeg, Man., and Gabriela Stafford of Toronto qualified for the women’s 1500-metres semi-finals, while Alysha Newman of London, Ont., and Anicka Newell of Saskatoon, Sask., qualified for the women’s pole vault final.

Nicole Sifuentes ran a seasonal best of 4:05.24 to finish eighth in heat 1 of the women’s 1500-metres, and advance to the semi-finals. “I raced a season’s best, I feel like I ran well, it’s tough competition at the World Champs. It got bumpy near the end but I maintained my composure, the season’s best is progress.”

Sheila Reid of Newmarket, Ont., placed 12th in heat 2 of the women’s 1500-metres in a time of 4:13.12, she did not qualify for the semi-finals. “I need more experience in that type of race, I’m usually in races where I’m contending for the lead. I didn’t expect it to be so rough (physical). It felt good when I qualified for the team (after coming back from injury), but this doesn’t feel good. I was hitting workouts that I hadn’t done, even back when I was running 4:02, it’s disappointing to not be able to show that.”

Gabriela Stafford recorded a Personal Best of 4:04.55 in heat 3 of the 1500-metres to join Sifuentes in tomorrow’s semi-finals. “I didn’t expect that at all (PB), the pace was there, people were going for it so it happened. I was aware the first heat was really fast. It didn’t change my plan, but it’s good to maintain awareness, so when the pace was fast I didn’t panic.”

Alysha Newman had a bit of a scare with two misses at 4.50-metres in women’s pole vault qualifying. She cleared the height on her third attempt and then cleared 4.55-metres on her first attempt to advance to the final. “I felt really good, I was a little nervous at 50 (4.50-metres), but clearing on the first attempt at 4.55-metres felt really good. I’m super excited to be in the final.”

Anicka Newell had first attempt clearances at 4.35-metres and 4.50-metres to also advance to the women’s pole vault final. “I felt great coming in, I didn’t execute as well at 4.55-metres, I’ll be ready to hit it in the final.”

Kelsie Ahbe of Toronto did not clear a height in pole vault qualification with three misses at 4.20-metres.

The women’s pole vault final is Sunday.

Gavin Smellie of Brampton, Ont., finished fifth in heat 5 of the men’s 100-metre heats in a time of 10.29. Gavin did not qualify for the semi-finals.

Brendon Rodney of Brampton, Ont., was through easily in the preliminaries of the 100-metres placing second in heat 1 in a time of 10.37 seconds. Later in the evening he placed sixth in heat 6 in a time of 10.36, Rodney did not qualify for the semi-finals. “In the prelims, I was just running to qualify, I knew I had to come back and race again in less than an hour. I don’t usually run 100s, I just enjoyed the experience.”

Canadian preview of day 2 at Worlds

Tim Nedow of Brockville, Ont., gets things going for Canada on day two in shot put qualifying at 5:05 a.m. ET.

Crystal Emmanuel of East York, Ont., and Leya Buchanan of Mississauga, Ont., will start things off on the track at 6:45 a.m. ET in the heats of the women’s 100-metres.

Jillian Weir of Kingston, Ont., looks to qualify in women’s hammer throw qualifying at 7:05 a.m. ET.

Brandon McBride of Windsor, Ont., races in the heats of the men’s 800-metres at 7:45 a.m. ET.

Nicole Sifuentes and Gabriela Stafford take part in the 1500-metre semi-finals at 2:35 p.m. ET.

Vancouver’s Rachel Cliff and Natasha Wodak compete in the women’s 10,000-metres final at 3:10 p.m. ET.

Lanni Marchant scratched from women's 10,000-metres final

Lanni Marchant, from London, Ont., met the selection criteria to compete in the 10,000-metres at the World Championships, and was named to the team, however she was recently scratched from the event:

I am sad to say I will have to turn down my spot on the World Championships team.  Despite my best efforts I am just not ready to compete at the level that is required to race at the championship level, and I value too much the more athlete centered approach we have at Athletics Canada to take advantage of things and show up unprepared.
 
I am hopeful to chase some quick times later this year and wish the team nothing but the best at next week's championships - Lanni Marchant
 

Visit Athletics Canada’s World Championships Information Hub for everything you need to know about Canada’s team, including complete schedule info, CBC webcast / broadcast information and more.

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