BEIJING, China — North Yarmouth native Ben True used a strong finishing kick early Wednesday to qualify for the 5,000-meter final at the world track and field championships.
The 29-year-old True, a graduate of Greely High School in Cumberland Center and Dartmouth College who now lives and trains in Hanover, New Hampshire, will be among 15 runners competing in the final, scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Saturday Eastern time.
True finished second in the first of two semifinal heats held on the same track used for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
The field raced cautiously until the final stages of the race, with the leaders reaching the bell lap in 12 minutes, 48.15 seconds.
That left eight runners still in contention, leading to a frantic pace over the final 150 meters.
Hagos Gebrhiwet of Ethiopia then displayed the home-stretch speed that took him past four men in the closing stages of the 2013 World Championships 5,000-meter final and to the silver medal behind Mo Farah, crossing the finish line in 13:45.00.
True, who ran in the middle of the pack for most of the race, used a similar surge down the final straightaway to place second in 13:45.29.
The top five finishers in each semifinal and the next five-fastest times qualified for Saturday’s final.
True will be one of three Americans in the field along with Ryan Hill and Galen Rupp. Hill finished sixth in the second semifinal in 13:19.67, while Rupp was eighth in the same race in 13:20.78.
All five non-automatic qualifiers came from the second semifinal.
True earned a berth on the U.S. team for the 5,000 with his second-place finish at the U.S. championships in Eugene, Oregon, in late June with a time of 13:51.09. He subsequently achieved the qualifying standard for worlds with a 13:06.15 clocking in Belgium on July 18.
True’s personal best for 5,000 meters is 13:02.74.