Sifan Hassan stepped off the track on her season’s debut in Monaco last month but the Dutchwoman was in auspicious form again this evening (4), smashing the world record for the hour.
Looks can be deceptive though as the world 1500m and 10,000m record-holder admitted that she didn’t feel well at the start of the race – or indeed in the early stages of the record attempt. “I didn’t feel good before the start of the race, I even puked! After thirty minutes of racing, I finally felt better. It was in the final twenty minutes that I gained the confidence I needed,” said Hassan.
Hassan added more than one lap to the previous record of 18,517 metres which was set by Ethiopia’s Dire Tune in 2008. Assisted by pacemakers for more than half-an-hour and then guided by the innovative wavelight technology, Hassan tallied 18,930 metres in the 60 minutes.
There was no question the record was going to be beaten by a significant margin although who would gain ownership of it took much longer to be determined. Hassan followed in the slipstream of Kenya’s world marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei in the latter stages but Hassan drew on her blistering pace to kick past Kosgei with less than a minute on the clock.
“An hour is long; it takes a lot of concentration and focus. After the first half I found my rhythm. I’m really happy with this record!” said Hassan, who will be seeking another fast time over 5000m in Ostrava on Tuesday (8) night.
Making her track debut Kosgei also finished comfortably inside the previous record but the Kenyan was later disqualified for taking half a step on the in-field. This allowed European 10,000m champion Lonah Chemtai Salpeter from Israel to take a distant runner-up spot with 18,571 metres.
Hassan opened the programme with a world record and the programme ended with two in the men’s hour. Mo Farah eclipsed Haile Gebrselassie’s world record with 21,330 metres to finish just ahead of his training partner Bashir Abdi from Belgium.
Abdi also surpassed Gebrselassie’s previous world record with 21,322 metres but he has been credited with the world 20,000m record of 56:20.02 after leading Farah by half-a-stride at that juncture of the race.
More to follow…