Charles Philibert-Thiboutot took another step towards qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, Friday in Irvine, California, by setting a time of 13:22:44 over 5000 m during the Sound Running Track Meet, which earned him the sixth place.
If he remains close to 10 seconds from the Olympic standard which ensures an automatic selection, Philibert-Thiboutot has clocked a time which places him in the top 45 in the world.
Among the runners who do not pass the Olympic standard of 13:13:05, the three best results will be used to determine the field of 45 athletes who will travel to Tokyo.
“This performance is not an end, but it is a step in the right direction, summarized Philibert-Thiboutot. It is very positive. You always accept a personal best with pleasure, especially at my age. Glad I bounced back from running out of juice over 10,000m in Vancouver on November 21st. My time of 13:22 will get me a top 45 and I’m on my way to ranking, but that same time would have allowed me to achieve the Olympic standard in 2012 and 2016. The qualification system has changed. “
His performance of 13:30:79 on the track last December in Boston, which was, at that time, his personal best, should also be in the top 45. This meeting at Boston University was his first competition. one year.
“The objective, in the coming months, is to achieve the Olympic standard and it is an achievable objective and not a dream,” he said. For the first time in a long time, I feel very good physically. Moving to Edmonton due to my wife’s job I’m only a 1.5 hour flight from Vancouver and can see my long-time physiotherapist every two weeks which was not possible when I lived in Quebec. Seeing each other only every few months, I was more at risk of injuring myself. “
“I ran out of juice on the last lap to follow the pace of the five leaders who accelerated, while I maintained my pace, to pursue the Olympian of the Rio Games in 2016 over 1500 m where he reached the half -final. It’s okay to run out of sharpening in December, but it’s going to be imperative to have it at the Olympics. “
In Edmonton, far from his coach Félix-Antoine Lapointe, Philibert-Thiboutot can however count on the support of the coach of the Alberta Golden Bears.
“He’s a friend of Félix-Antoine,” he said. He is quite generous with his time and reports to her. “
Decision to come
Despite his good position over 5000 m, Philibert-Thiboutot assures that he has not yet determined which event he will favor at the Olympic Games, he who took the start of the 1500 m at the Rio Games.
“There is still a chance that my best event will be the 1500m,” he said. We have worked a lot on my endurance over the past few months and we will have to see how it turns out in the 1500m. It could be extremely beneficial or we will not get the desired results. I will be doing several 3000m and 5000m indoors in the coming months. “
If all goes as planned, Philibert-Thiboutot will compete in his next race in February in Boston or New York. “Right now the odds are 50-50 that the events will take place. The risks are greater for an indoor competition and it is not known if the sponsors will be there due to the absence of spectators. “
Friday in Irvine, the location of the competition was kept secret until the morning of the race to avoid any possible gathering.
Record missed very little
Philibert-Thiboutot went to 0:06 to beat the Quebec record of 13:22:39 held by Paul Morrison. “History is repeating itself for me,” he said. In 2015, when I set the Quebec record over 1,500 m of 3:34:23, I came close to beating it five or six times. It’ll force me to kick my ass. The goal is to hold all the records, but I must not overdo it or drag out a bitter taste for having passed so close. It’s annoying to have come so close, but I know I’ll beat him eventually. “
Three other Quebecers took the start on Friday evening. 3000m steeplechase specialist, Jean-Simon Desgagnés achieved his best career time over 5000m with a time of 13:54:01, which was his goal. His Laval University Rouge et Or teammate Thomas Fafard also scored a personal score with a time of 13:57:18, while Will Paulson crossed the finish line in 13:40:32.
Everyone will be coming home today. If Philibert-Thiboutot can take advantage of a rapid test in Calgary which will allow him to isolate himself only until the time of receiving his result, Lapointe, Desgagnés and Fafard will have to isolate themselves for 14 days upon their return to Quebec. Calgary is the only airport in the country to use the rapid test.