Oshawa’s Matt Hughes finishes sixth in Olympic Steeplechase final in Tokyo

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Published August 2, 2021 at 2:13 pm

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When the race already involves water hazards and hurdles, a little inclement weather is not going to bother Oshawa track star Matt Hughes.

Hughes, six-time Canadian champion and the national record-holder in the gruelling 3,000-metre Steeplechase, ran a technically sound and gutsy race to finish sixth in the Olympic final, bettering his tenth-place finish in Rio from five years ago.

Hughes is known for his strong tactical ability, and in Monday morning’s final, with 15 runners all competing for the same obstacles and lanes on a wet track, he needed all that ability and veteran savvy to hang with the African runners who traditionally dominate this event.

Soufiane Elbakkali of Morocco won the gold in a time of 8:08.9, with Benjamin Kigen (Ethiopia) and Lamecha Girma (Eritrea) completing an African sweep of the medals.

Hughes finished in 8:16.03.

Kelowna’s John Gay, competing in his first Olympics, faded in the final lap to finish 15th.

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