Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Sifan Hassan

Sifan Hassan (OromoSiifan Hassan; born 1 January 1993) is an Ethiopian-born Dutch middle- and long-distance runner. She won two gold medals at the 2019 World Championships, in the 1500 metres and 10,000 metres events, becoming the only athlete (male or female) in history to win both events at a single World Championships or Olympic Games.[3]

Hassan was the 2016 1500 metres indoor world champion. At the 2015 World Championships in Athletics, she won a bronze medal in the 1500 metres, following that with a bronze medal in the 5000 metres in the 2017 championships. Hassan is the world record holder for both the 5 km road race and the mile, both set in 2019, as well as the one hour run, set in 2020.[4][5] She held the world record for the women’s 10,000 metres for two days in June 2021.[6][7] In 2021, Hassan won the gold medal in the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres, and bronze medal in the 1500 metres event at the Tokyo Olympics. She is the only athlete in history to medal at these events in the same Olympic Games.

Hassan began running while undertaking studies to become a nurse.[12] Affiliated with Eindhoven Atletiek,[13] she entered the Eindhoven half marathon in 2011 and won the race with a time of 77:10 minutes. She was also runner-up at two cross country races (Sylvestercross and Mol Lotto Cross Cup). She won those races in 2012, as well as the 3000 m at the Leiden Gouden Spike meet.[14]

Hassan made her breakthrough in the 2013 season. She ran an 800 metres best of 2:00.86 minutes to win at the KBC Night of Athletics and took wins in the 1500 m at the Nijmegen Global Athletics and Golden Spike Ostrava meets. On the 2013 IAAF Diamond League circuit she was runner-up in the 1500 m at Athletissima with a personal best of 4:03.73 minutes and was third at the DN Galan 3000 m with a best of 8:32.53 minutes – this time ranked her the fourth fastest runner in the world that year.[14][15]

Hassan became a Dutch citizen in November 2013 and the following month she made her first appearance for the Netherlands. At the 2013 European Cross Country Championships she won the gold medal in the under-23 category and helped the Dutch team to third in the rankings.[16] She also won the Warandeloop and Lotto Cross Cup Brussels races that winter.[17] At the beginning of 2014 she ran a world leading time of 8:45.32 minutes for the 3000 m at the Weltklasse in Karlsruhe,[18] then broke the Dutch record in the indoor 1500 m with a time of 4:05.34 minutes at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix.[19]

At the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, Hassan won the bronze medal in the 1500 meters. She became the second female Dutch athlete ever to win a medal at the World Championships, after Dafne Schippers. She was the third female Dutch winner at the 2015 European Cross Country Championships, following in the footsteps of fellow African migrants Hilda Kibet and Lornah Kiplagat.[20]

Hassan won her heat in the 1500 m in the 2016 Summer Olympics in 4:06.64 before Faith Kipyegon. In the semifinals she placed second in 4:03.62 after Genzebe Dibaba who won in 4:03.06. In the final Kipyegon took the Olympic gold medal with 4:08.92, Dibaba was the runner up with 4:10.27 and Jennifer Simpson took the bronze medal in 4:10.53. Hassan placed fifth in a time of 4:11.23.[21]

She finished 5th in the 1500 metres at the 2017 World Athletics Championships and won the bronze medal in the 5000 metres event. On 13 July 2018, she broke the European record for 5000 meters by finishing second at the Rabat Diamond League in 14:22.34.[22]Hassan (right) with Faith Kipyegon and Genzebe Dibaba at the medal ceremony during the 2015 World Championships in Beijing

She won the first Millicent Fawcett Mile at the 2018 London Anniversary Games in a time of 4:14.71, the fourth fastest result at the time.[23]

She won the gold medal at the 2018 European Championships with the time 14:46:12, setting the new championships record.

On 16 September 2018 she broke the European record for the half marathon with a time of 65:15, winning the Copenhagen half marathon[24]

On 17 Feb, 2019 Hassan set the world record for a 5 km road race in Monaco.[25] Her winning time was 14:44. The 5 km road race has been a world record event since 1 November 2017.[26]

Hassan was the 2019 Diamond League winner at both 1500 m and 5000 m.[27] She is the training partner of Yomif Kejelcha.[28]

Hassan set the world record for the women’s 10,000 metres on 6 June 2021 with a time of 29:06.82 at Hengelo, but lost the record two days later when Letesenbet Gidey achieved a time of 29:01.03 at the same stadium.[7] She retains the European record for this distance which she has held since 10 October 2020.[29]

Mile world record

On 12 July 2019, Hassan entered the mile run at the Herculis meet in Fontvieille, MonacoOlha Lyakhova was the pace setter, taking the field through the first two laps (measured at the start line, not the quarter-mile splits) in 64.26 and 63.94 (2:08.20). As is typical for Hassan, she was last off the start line, but over the next 150 metres, slowly eased herself around the field on the outside into the marking position behind Lyakhova. Gabriela DeBues-Stafford soon moved through the field in between Hassan and Lyakhova for the next lap before Hassan and Gudaf Tsegay separated from the field as the only chasers. Between 800 and 1000 metres, Lyakhova strained to keep on pace, but Hassan and Tsegay were moving forward. After Lyakhova stepped out, the two found themselves 15 metres ahead of the pack. At 1200 metres, Hassan was looking back at her close chaser Tsegay in 3:10.13 (a 61.93 lap). Hassan accelerated, opening a 5-metre gap over the next 100 metres. Continuing at this pace, she passed 1500 metres in about 3:55. Hassan covered the last 409.344 metres in 62.20, her final time of 4:12:33 breaking Svetlana Masterkova‘s almost 23-year-old world record.[30] The athletes trailing Hassan rewrote the all-time top 25 list, with Laura Weightman moving into position #15, DeBues-Stafford into #17, and after #5 all-time Tsegay faded into the pack she was followed by Rababe ArafiAxumawit EmbayeWinnie Nanyondo and Ciara Mageean moving into positions #20–23.

2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha

On 28 September, she became the 2019 World Champion in the 10,000 metres in her second race for that distance. Her first race at the 10,000-metre distance was in Stanford in a time of 31:18.12, just fast enough to achieve the qualifying standard for the 2019 World Championships. The winning time of 30:17.62 was the best time of the year on the track. Alina Reh (Germany) led the field after 3000 metres in 9:29.69. The front runner reached the halfway point in 15:32.70. Letensebet Gidey finished in 30:21.23, with Agnes Tirop (Kenya) coming in third place in 30:25.50. The second half of the run was covered in 14:45.[31]

She also won the 1500 metres race with a time of 3:51.95 (sixth place on the 1500 m all-time-list), setting a new Championships and European record. The second-placed finisher was Faith Kipyegon in 3:54.22, a new Kenyan national record, and the third place went to Gudaf Tsegay with 3:54.38.[32]

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Hassan won gold in the 5000 metres and 10000 metres at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She also won bronze in the 1500 metres. She became the only athlete ever to medal in the 1500, 5000, and 10000 metre events at the same Olympic Games. Her winning time was 14:36.79 ahead of Hellen Obiri from Kenya with 14:38.36, Gudaf Tsegay from Ethiopia won the bronze medal with a time of 14:38.87. Her gold medal win made her the first Dutch woman with an Olympic athletics medal in a long-distance event. She is the first non-Kenyan or Ethiopian athlete to win the event since Gabriela Szabo won in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.[33]


Beginning in 2016, Hassan was coached by Alberto Salazar at the Nike Oregon Project.[34][35] In 2019 Salazar began serving a four-year ban from athletics for doping violations dating from before he started coaching Hassan.

Hassan’s current coach is Tim Rowberry who has been coaching her since 2019. Rowberry is also the coach of runner Yomif Kejelcha, Hassan’s training partner until his recent departure to Adidas. [36][37]

Personal bests

800 metres1:56.81Monaco (Stade Louis II)20 Jul 2017
1000 metres2:34.68NRHengelo Fanny Blankers-Koen Stadion24 May 2015
1500 metres3:51.95ERDoha Khalifa Stadium5 Oct 2019
One mile4:12.33WRMonaco Stade Louis II12 Jul 2019
3000 metres8:18.49[38]ERStanford Cobb Track & Angell Field30 Jun 2019
5000 metres14:22.12ERLondon Olympic Stadium21 Jul 2019
10,000 metres29:06.82ERHengelo Fanny Blankers-Koen Stadion6 Jun 2021[39]
800 metres2:04.16Gent (Topsporthal)9 Feb 2014
1500 metres4:00.46NRStockholm (Globe Arena)19 Feb 2015
Mile4:19.89NRNew York City11 Feb 2017
3000 metres8:30.74[1]NRKarlsruhe (Europahalle)1 Feb 2014
5 km14:44WR (womens only race)
10 km34:28
15 km53:57
Half marathon65:15ERCopenhagen16 Sep 2018

Source: Wikipedia

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By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of

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