Canada's Cameron Levins qualified for the 5,000-metre final at the Olympics Wednesday, running a personal best time of 13:18.29.
Levins was the eighth fastest qualifier and showed he wasn’t afraid to compete with a group that included favorites Bernard Lagat of the United States and Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia. The final is Aug. 11.
“I knew what I had to do and I’m glad I made it through,” Levins said after the heat.
Levins finished 11th in the 10,000 metres four days ago and said that race bolstered his confidence for the 5,000.
“In the 10k I was just concerned about trying to stay with the front pack and this time I was, like, 'You can run with these guys. Just put yourself right in the front of these guys and just be thinking about sprinting as hard as you can at the end'.”
Levins is coming off a strong season for Southern Utah University, winning both the 10,000m and the 5,000m at the NCAA championships.
In the women's 800 metres, Jessica Smith qualified for the semi-finals in 2:07.75 but Melissa Bishop, who ran 2:09.33, did not advance.
Qualifications did not go well for Canada’s two women hammer throwers, Sultana Frizell and Heather Steacy. Neither were among the 12 throwers who made it to the final.
“It sucks,” said Steacy who threw 63.40 metres. “My training has been feeling kind of hit and miss and unfortunately today was a miss.”
Steacy's brother, Jim, competed in the men's event and also failed to make the final.