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Spain's Katir cruises into 5,000m final with fastest time

Spain's Mohamed Katir (C) crosses the finish line to win the men's 5000m heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)
Spain's Mohamed Katir (C) crosses the finish line to win the men's 5000m heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

RESULTS

TOKYO - Spain's Mohamed Katir cruised into the men's 5,000m final with the fastest time in the heats on Tuesday, ahead of world record holder Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda.

Katir, making his debut at a major international championship, clocked 13:30.10 to finish ahead of American Paul Chelimo, the 2016 silver medalist, the pair nonchalantly crossing the line as they smiled at each other.

Ugandans Jacob Kiplimo and Cheptegei also advanced after finishing fourth and fifth in their heat, following their medal-winning performances in the 10,000m on Friday.

The race for gold in the 5,000m is open this year as Briton Mo Farah is not defending his title in Tokyo.

Kenya's Nicholas Kimeli, 22, won his heat to advance ahead of Canada's Mohammed Ahmed, world bronze medalist.

They will be joined in the final on Friday by American William Kincaid, the U.S. national champion, who ran a brilliant last lap to finish third in his heat.