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Kelowna runner John Gay says he's learned from his first Olympic experience

Gay 15th in steeplechase

It wasn't the outcome he hoped for, but Kelowna athlete John Gay says he'll take away a lot of positives from his 15th place finish in the men's 3,000 metre steeplechase at the Tokyo Olympics.

Competing on a wet track, Gay was the last runner to cross the finish line in a time of eight minutes, 35.41 seconds. The time was nearly 20 seconds slower than the 8:16.99 he clocked in the heats on Friday.

It was Gay's first trip to the Olympics and, despite the finish, is looking forward to what the future holds in the sport.

"Every time I step up another level, I realize why it's a step up in the first place. I think that was totally evident tonight," Gay was quoted on the Athletics Canada website.

"I know it's just another notch in the belt and something I can lean on in future years. We've got so many championships coming up in the next three years, and I'm so grateful to have this opportunity."

Gay was 11th after 1,000 metres before falling further off the pace over the final 2,000 metres.

Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco won the gold in 8:08.90.

Canadian Matthew Hughes finished sixth, the highest finish ever for a Canadian man.



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