A. Mohammed of Canada ran a brave race in the men’s 5,000-meter event at the Tokyo Olympics, and he was rewarded with a silver medal for his efforts.
In the final stretch, A. Mohammed ran a fast final lap and challenged the world record holder in the distance, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, for the gold medal.
After 12 minutes and 58.15 seconds, Cheptegei crossed the line, and A. Mohammed was close behind at 12 minutes and 58.61 seconds. Bronze went to American Paul Chelimo, who ran a 12:59.05.
A. Mohammed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
It’s only appropriate that A. Mohammed should bring home Canada’s first Olympic medal in the men’s 5,000.
The 30-year-old runner from St. Catharines, Ontario, has been instrumental in establishing a strong international reputation for Canadian distance runners.
In 2019, at the global championships in Doha, Qatar, he brought home the country’s first medal in a distance event with a bronze performance in the 5,000.
In a high-performance competition in Portland, where he trains with the Bowerman Track Club, last summer, he shaved 11 seconds off his personal Canadian record, clocking in at 12 minutes and 47.20 seconds.
In addition to becoming a new North American record, A. Mohammed now ranks among the top 10 fastest men of all time in the world at that distance.
A. Mohammed finished sixth in the opening event of the Tokyo Olympics, the 10,000-meter run, despite leading with less than two laps to go until tiring in the final 300 metres.
In a time of 13 minutes, 4.38 seconds, Toronto’s Justyn Knight came in seventh.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the 25-year-old to sit out an entire season of racing.
On the other hand, in his first 5,000 since the 2019 world championships, he shaved 18 seconds off his personal best time at the Golden Gala in June in Florence, Italy, making him only the second North American in history following A. Mohammed.
A. Mohammed Family and Personal Life
A. Mohammed’s trip to the Olympic podium and the A. Mohammed family’s escape from war-torn Somalia via Kenya are inspiring tales of an immigrant family’s perseverance in the face of adversity.
They emigrated to Canada in 2001 with their mother, Helimo Farah, and eventually settled in St. Catharines, Ontario, where A. Mohammed is currently a student. Their dad stayed behind to take care of things. It took eight long years, but finally the family was back together again.
To provide for his family, Farah held down a number of occupations. A. Mohammed credits his mother for teaching him the value of effort, persistence, and direction.
He enrolled in the local elementary school without knowing a single word of English. Furthermore, he lacked academic credentials. A. Mohammed persisted despite setbacks and ultimately succeeded.
His limited vocabulary was of no consequence in the realm of athletics, though. A. Mohammed attended St. Catharines Collegiate after finishing elementary and intermediate school.
A. Mohammed credits his athletic prowess to the fact that he “channelled that immigrant energy and all the natural anxiousness in a constructive way,” making him the best he could be.
Also, I was always trying to be a good role model for my brothers, so I put in my best effort in everything I did, whether it was in the classroom or on the track. Yes, I did my very best. That’s a lesson I picked up from my mother,” he says.