Dutch runner Sifan Hassan broke the world record in the women’s 10,000 metres at the World Athletics Continental Tour: Huelva in Hengelo, Netherlands, on Sunday 6 June.
Hassan crossed the line in 29:06.82, breaking the previous record of 29:17.45, set by Almaz Ayana at the 2016 Olympics, by more than 10 seconds.
With the Olympics starting in less than 50 days, Hassan has established herself as a clear favourite to medal.
With fewer than 50 days to go until the start of the Tokyo Olympics, Sifan Hassan has already sent shockwaves through the athletics community by shattering the world record in the women’s 10,000 metres.
On Sunday, the three-time world champion won the event at the World Athletics Continental Tour: Huelva in 29:06.82, improving on the previous 29:17.45 world record set by Almaz Ayana in the final of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The Dutch athlete used pacemakers through the first 6:30 of the race, but the rest of the effort was executed entirely on her own in Hengelo, Netherlands. Hassan blazed through the first 5,000 metres in 14:39, and only continued to speed up her pace through the final five kilometres, lapping every athlete in the field. Her finishing time was 30 seconds faster than her previous personal best.
'Wow, to run this world record here today in Hengelo is something I could only dream of,' Sifan told SportsStar. 'It’s the perfect confirmation of the hard work we’ve been putting in getting ready for Tokyo. I am so happy to share this record in front of my Dutch fans.'
Before the race, Hassan told race organisers she was considering an attempt at the record in the same stadium where she set the European 10,000-metre record last October. She also said she’s in her best shape ever heading into the Olympic Games, where she plans to run two events, probably the 5,000 and 10,000-metres.
'I have never seen myself so good, but I don’t know how that will show in competition,' Hassan told World Athletics on Saturday. 'My speed is not as great as before but endurance—I have never seen myself as I am now. I want to run a PB but it is sometimes hard for athletes to say, "I will run this" because competition and training are not the same.'
Hassan’s training translated into a historic race, with 2:45 closing speed over the final kilometre (4:26 mile pace).
The 10,000-metre world record is the latest in a growing collection of all-time bests for the Ethiopian-born athlete, who broke the world record in the mile in 2019 and the one-hour run in 2020. At the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, Hassan became the first person to win both the 1500 metres and the 10,000 metres in the history of the world championships or Olympics.
While Hassan doesn’t have an Olympic medal—she finished fifth in the 1500-metre Rio final—she is looking poised to maintain her champion status this summer.
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