By: AP | Eugene |
July 17, 2022 10:01:30 am
Sifan Hassan, of the Netherlands, competes in the women's 10000-meter run final at the World Athletics Championships. (AP)
Endurance icon Sifan Hassan wasn’t going for three medals this time. Now, she won’t even get two, and she’s OK with that.
The Dutch distance workhorse got outraced to the line in a fight-to-the-finish 10,000 meters Saturday in the world championships. She finished fourth, behind Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia, Hellen Obiri of Kenya and Obiri’s late-charging teammate, Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi.
Gidey won in 30 minutes, 9.94 seconds. Only 0.62 seconds separated the top four runners.
It means Hassan’s only chance for a medal will come next week in the 5,000 meters, a race in which she is the reigning Olympic champion. Given whet she accomplished last year, she wasn’t all that upset to finish out of the medals.
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“I knew my practice hadn’t been the best I could get,” Hassan said.
“I trained so hard during almost three years from 2019 to 2021 to get all the medals I won. So I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics. I was mentally crashed.”
The 29-year-old also won the 10,000 and took bronze in the 1,500 last summer in Tokyo, finishing a three-medals-in-three-races combo that had never been done before.
She scaled back this year, not wanting to repeat a series of six races that totaled nearly 25,000 meters — prelims and finals included — over the span of a week.
The 10,000, a distance at which she also won the world championship in 2019, seemed to be setting up perfectly for her as the runners reached the backstretch with about 200 meters to go.
In a five-woman phalanx battling for three medals, Hassan pulled out wide and drew into third place, just behind Gidey and Obiri. But she could not pass either, and over the last 40 meters, Kipkemboi put on a charge to pass Hassan on the inside.
“I know I’ve achieved important things personally and in sports, so I know you can’t be disappointed because of a fourth place,” Hassan said.
She is expected back on the track Wednesday for prelims in the 5,000, the distance she has never captured at worlds.
Gidey added this gold to a silver she won three years ago at worlds in Doha and a bronze from the Tokyo Olympics last year.
“I have had a dream of winning the gold since 2019, but Hassan has always been here,” Gidey said.
“I also have the dream to win the gold at 5,000 meters and get the double”.
Gidey was the first champion on a day that also included the men’s 100 on the evening schedule. Fred Kerley ran a 9.79 in the opening round, setting himself up as a favorite in a race that will include defending world champion Christian Coleman and reigning Olympic champion Marcel Jacobs.
Also in the afternoon session, Poland’s Pawel Fajdek won his fifth world title in hammer throw. Other finals Saturday night were in the men’s long jump and women’s shot put.
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