Mohammed Ahmed (runner)

Mohammed Ahmed (born January 5, 1991)[4] is a Canadian long-distance runner.[5] A three-time Olympian, he is his country's most successful athlete in long distance racing, being the first to medal in the 5000 metres at both the World Championships (bronze in 2019) and the Olympic Games (silver in 2021).

Mohammed Ahmed
Mohammed Ahmed Rio 2016.jpg
Ahmed at the 2016 Olympics
Personal information
Born (1991-01-05) January 5, 1991 (age 32)
Mogadishu, Somalia[2]
Home townSt. Catharines, Ontario[1]
Height182 cm (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Weight54 kg (119 lb)[1]
Country Canada
SportTrack and field
Event(s)Long-distance running
College teamUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison
ClubBowerman Track Club
Coached byJerry Schumacher
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)

As well he is a two-time silver medallist at the Commonwealth Games in the 5000m and 10,000m events and was the 2015 Pan American champion in the 10,000 m. He holds the eleventh-fastest 5000m time in history and has set several national and area records.

Early lifeEdit

Ahmed was born in Mogadishu, Somalia to Said Yusuf and Halimo Farah. Ahmed was raised in the town of El Afweyn in Somaliland, a town mainly inhabited by the Habr Je'lo clan of the Isaaq clan-family.[5][6] His family moved to Kenya, and Moh spent the first ten years of his life there. His family then moved to St. Catharines, Ontario in Canada at the age of 11.[7] He began running track at the age of 13 after watching his brothers run track at school.[7][8]

Running careerEdit


Before college, Mohammed Ahmed was the Canadian junior 5000 m champion on four occasions and twice finished in the top ten at World Junior Championships (fourth in 2010, ninth in 2008), to go along with two Canadian senior titles in the event. Ahmed also won a Pan American Junior title.


Ahmed attended St. Catharines Collegiate before going on to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, from which he graduated in 2014. During his time at college, he amassed eleven NCAA All-American awards in track and cross country and an Olympic berth in the 10,000 m at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where he finished in eighteenth place.[9]

At the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Mohammed clocked the best time over 10,000 m in Canadian history with his ninth-place finish, almost equaling his lifetime best in the process with a 27:35.76 result.[10]

Ahmed was named to Canada's team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where he competed in the 5000 and 10,000 m, finishing in fifth and sixth place respectively.[9]


Moving to the professional scene after his university career, Ahmed was part of the home team at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. He competed only in the 10,000 m, winning the gold medal.[11] He went on to the 2015 World Championships, competing only in the 5000 m and finishing in twelfth place.[9]

On May 28, 2016, Ahmed set a personal best and Canadian national record in the 5000 m at the Prefontaine Classic, finishing in a time of 13:01.74[12] Competing as part of his second Canadian Olympic team, Ahmed placed thirty-second in the 10,000 m at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. After this very dispiriting outcome, Ahmed finished in fourth place in the 5000 m with a time of 13:05.94, 1.5 seconds short of the bronze medal. He later said this left him "shedding tears of agony and defeat."[13]

Ahmed ran the eleventh-fastest indoor 5000 m in history in Boston in 2017, setting the Canadian national record in the process.[14] On August 4, 2017, Ahmed set a personal best and Canadian national record in the 10,000 m, placing eighth at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics with a time of 27:02.35[15] Ahmed was nominated for Sports Person of the Year at the International Somali Awards 2018.[16] He also won two silver medals at the Commonwealth Games that year, in both the 5000 and 10000 m.[17][18]

Competing at the 2019 World Athletics Championships, Ahmed won the bronze medal in the 5000 m event, the first for a Canadian runner. Ahmed led late in the race, briefly dropping to fifth position in the final stretch before recovering to take third place. He was sixth in the 10,000 m at the same championships.[19]

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing the cancellation of much of the 2020 international season and delaying the 2020 Summer Olympics by a year, Ahmed set a personal best and Canadian national record in the men's 5000 m with a time of 12:47.20 while competing at the Portland Intrasquad Meet II in Portland, Oregon on July 10, 2020.[20]

Ahmed was named to his third Olympic team in 2021. Competing first off in the 10,000 m event in Tokyo, Ahmed finished sixth after briefly leading late in the race and running a season's best in the process.[21] He next competed in the 5000 m event, where he had finished fourth in Rio five years before. Having already replicated his sixth-place disappointment in the 10,000 m at the prior World Championships, Ahmed had to rally himself mentally for the next race. He entered the final lap in sixth position before surging ahead into second position by the final 100 metres, winning the silver medal.[22] He was the first Canadian to medal at this distance in the Olympics and remarked: "every race that didn’t go to plan has got me here."[13]

Disappointment awaited Ahmed in the 10,000 m at the 2022 World Athletics Championships, where he finished sixth once again. He remarked afterward that "I still haven't figured out the 10K. It's disappointing. I thought I prepared really well."[23] He then finished fifth in the 5000 m, 0.26 seconds behind bronze medalist Oscar Chelimo of Uganda. Ahmed commented on the strength of the field, saying, "only four guys in this field didn't break sub-13. That tells you the depth of this event. I've got to fix some things, but not a bad result; top-five in the world."[24]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 18th 10,000 m 28:13.91
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 9th 10,000 m 27:35.76
2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow, United Kingdom 5th 5,000 m 13:18.88
6th 10,000 m 28:02.96
2015 Pan American Games Toronto, Canada 1st 10,000 m 28:49.96
World Championships Beijing, China 12th 5,000 m 14:00.38
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 4th 5,000 m 13:05.94
32nd 10,000 m 29:32.84
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 6th 5,000 m 13:39.15
8th 10,000 m 27:02.35
2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, Australia 2nd 5,000 m 13:52.78
2nd 10,000 m 27:20.56
Continental Cup Ostrava, Czech Republic 2nd 3,000 m 7:57.99
2019 World Championships Doha, Qatar 3rd 5,000 m 13:01.11
6th 10,000 m 26:59.35
2021 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan 2nd 5,000 m 12:58.61
6th 10,000 m 27:47.76
2022 World Championships Eugene, United States 5th 5,000 m 13:10.46
6th 10,000 m 27:30.27


  1. ^ a b c d "Mohammed Ahmed". Canadian Olympic Committee. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  2. ^ "Mohammed Ahmed profile". IAAF. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  3. ^ a b All-Athletics. "Profile of Mohammed Ahmed".
  4. ^ "Mohammed Ahmed". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Tokyo:Orodyahan Axmed Maxamed Oo U Orda Kanada Balse Asal Ahaan Kasoo Jeeda Somaliland Oo Ku Guulaystay Kaalinta 2aad Orodka 5000 Mitir". Retrieved August 11, 2021.
  6. ^ "EASO Country of Origin Information Report Somalia - Security Situation" (PDF). European Asylum Support Office: 72. February 2016. The Ceel Afweyn district is mainly inhabited by the Isaaq subclan Habar Jeelo.
  7. ^ a b "Mohammed Ahmed".
  8. ^ Bergsma, Marlene (August 6, 2012). "Family thrilled with Ahmed's Olympic experience". Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Athletics | Athlete Profile: Mohammed AHMED - Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games". Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  10. ^ Top-10 finish for Mo: Ahmed shines on international stage. University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers (August 10, 2013)
  11. ^ Cobbing, Candace (July 22, 2015). "Pan Am roundup: Canada brings home 12 medals on Day 11". 570 News. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  12. ^ RunnerSpace. "2016 Prefontaine Classic Results".
  13. ^ a b Barnes, Dan (August 6, 2021). "Mo Ahmed's 5,000m silver medal at Tokyo Olympics erases pain of Rio". The National Post. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  14. ^ "5000 Metres – men – senior – indoor |". Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  15. ^ IAAF. "2017 IAAF World Championships Results".
  16. ^ "Home – International Somali Awards". International Somali Awards. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  17. ^ "Athletics | Event Schedule Men's 5000m - Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games". Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  18. ^ "Athletics | Event Schedule Men's 10,000m - Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games". Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  19. ^ "Canada's Moh Ahmed wins bronze medal in men's 5,000 metres at track worlds". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  20. ^ Jon Mulkeen (July 12, 2020). "Ahmed and Houlihan smash North American 5000m records, Fraser-Pryce clocks 11.00". World Athletics. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  21. ^ The Canadian Press (July 30, 2021). "Canada's Moh Ahmed finishes sixth 10,000 metres -". TSN. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  22. ^ Harrison, Doug (August 6, 2021). "Moh Ahmed wins his 1st Olympic track medal, earning silver for Canada in men's 5,000m". CBC Sports. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  23. ^ Heroux, Devin (July 21, 2022). "Redemption at stake for Canada's Moh Ahmed entering 5,000m at athletics worlds". CBC Sports. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  24. ^ Heroux, Devin (July 24, 2022). "Canadian decathlete Pierce LePage wins silver at World Athletics Championships". CBC Sports. Retrieved July 25, 2022.

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