Canadian Ben Flanagan shines in the 5,000m indoors and qualifies for the Paris Olympics


Ben Flanagan had planned to spend part of this year trying to reach the Olympic qualifying standard in the men’s 5,000 meters.

But the Canadian runner only needed one indoor race and less than a month to reach his goal.

Flanagan, 29, set a personal best of 13 minutes, 4.62 seconds indoors Friday at Boston University, placing fifth at the John Thomas Terrier Classic. The automatic entry standard is 1:05 p.m. for the Paris Games this summer.

Her previous best in this event was almost seven seconds slower at 13:11.12 at the same meet a year ago.

Nearly three years ago, Flanagan came close to the standard of 13:13.50 for the Tokyo Olympics that summer by running 13:20.67 in Boston, but failed to get his first Olympic place in a final attempt less than a month later with an effort of 13:33.90. Oregon.

The Kitchener, Ontario native clocked 13:13.97 to open the 2023 outdoor campaign, but never got close to that time as the season progressed. In August, Flanagan clocked 13:38.69 at the World Athletics Championships, but did not advance during the heats in Budapest, Hungary.

“You never want to not make a final. I came away feeling like I was close to being at a level that I think I’m capable of being at,” said Flanagan, who lives in Ann Arbor, at Michigan, on CBC Sports last September before placing 12th. of the 41 finalists in the men’s 5km event at the inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia.

“I think there’s a little bit more to it and I think I could have (finished) the season faster than a 13:13 guy, but those opportunities will present themselves.”

Philibert-Thiboutot aims for Canadian records

Kieran Lumb, who was fifth in the elite men’s mile in Rigawas the other Canadian in the race aiming for the Olympic standard, Friday in Boston, and crossed the finish line in 13:16.59, an indoor record.

In the men’s mile, Charles Philibert-Thiboutot of Quebec began his season by finishing second with a time of 3:53.41. This time ranks third all-time indoors among Canadian men, represents a Quebec record and meets the standards of the World Indoor Athletics Championships from March 1 to 3 in Glasgow.

Philibert-Thiboutot, who was a host in one of the men’s 5000m series on Friday, ran below standard last July on the Diamond League professional circuit.

The 33-year-old told Citius Mag he will aim for two Canadian records in February, competing in the 3,000m at the New Balance Grand Prix on February 4 in Boston and a week later in the mile at the Millrose Games in New York . .

Lumb has held the national mark in the 3000m since December 2 with a time of 7:38.39, while Cam Proceviat has led the mile (3:52.54) since February 27, 2022.

On Saturday in Boston, three Canadian women placed in the top five in the 800m, led by Lucy Stafford in a PB of 2:01.79 for the win. Maddy Kelly’s time of 2:02.38 was her best time since the 2022 World Indoor Championships (2:02.06) and Aurora Rynda clocked a record one second for fifth place in 2:03 .25.

Arop in winning form

Elsewhere, Marco Arop won the men’s 800m at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Arizona, clocking 1:45.51 indoors in his first race of the year, 39-100th of a second off his personal best .

The Edmonton native’s spectacular 2023 outdoor season was highlighted by world and Canadian titles, two personal bests and a national mark of 1:42.85 in the 800.

WATCH | Arop’s Canadian record in the 2023 Diamond League Final:

Edmonton’s Marco Arop breaks Canadian 800m record and finishes 2nd in Diamond League final

Reigning world champion Marco Arop broke Brandon McBride’s Canadian record, running the men’s 800 meters in 1:42.85, to finish second behind Kenyan Emmanuel Wanyonyi in the Diamond League final in Eugene, Oregon.

Paris will mark the 25-year-old’s second Olympics.

“If Marco reaches the final in Paris, it will be a success,” his Mississippi-based coach Chris Woods told CBC Sports last September. “He’s a world champion but not an Olympic finalist yet, so that’s the goal, and then we can focus on medals and winning.”

Arop finished seventh in his semifinal at the Tokyo Olympics and did not advance, placing 14th overall.

Sprinter Andre De Grasse, the reigning Summer Games champion in the 200m, finished sixth on Saturday in his first indoor race since 2021.

The Markham, Ont., athlete ran the 60 meters in 6.66 seconds, six hundredths off his 2015 best, at the Astana indoor meet in Kazakhstan – the first of seven gold competitions in the world indoor circuit on this year’s calendar.

The 29-year-old finished last season by winning the 200m at the Diamond League final in a best time of the season 19.76 seconds.

WATCH | De Grasse wins the 200m in the Diamond League final:

Andre De Grasse stuns the field to win the Diamond League 200m title

Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., ran a season’s best time of 19.76 seconds to win the Diamond League 200m title in Eugene, Ore. His compatriot Aaron Brown of Toronto finished 6th with a time of 20.23 seconds.


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