Hassan shows spirit to reach 1500m world final

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Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan in action during the World Athletics Championship, Women’s 1500m Semi Final.

Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan in action during the World Athletics Championship, Women’s 1500m Semi Final.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Sifan Hassan on Sunday rebounded from her dramatic fall metres from the finish of the 10,000m world final to reach the 1500m final at the World Athletics Championships.

The 30-year-old Dutch runner bore evidence of Saturday’s fall with bandages on her knees and an elbow but it was more what damage it had inflicted on her morale that was to be tested in Budapest.

However, the Ethiopia-born 5,000m/10,000m Olympic champion showed fighting spirit to ease into Tuesday’s final, timing a season’s best 3min 55.48sec to finish third in her semi-final behind winner Faith Kipyegon and Diribe Welteji of Ethiopia.

Hassan selflessly expressed how pleased she was for her 18-year-old male teammate Niels Laros, who reached the men’s final.

She admitted that she had not felt the best when she woke up on Sunday feeling the effects of her tumble, as she battled Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay for gold.

“In the morning I woke up with pain in my whole body,” she said.

“It really hurts everywhere but mentally I’m good.

“I don’t have any special expectations for the final, but my time in the semis is really good, the best this season.

“I suppose it can be even better. I’m looking forward to the final.”

Kenya’s defending champion Kipyegon presents a massive obstacle for Hassan to take the crown having set three world records this season, including in the 1500m.

She also denied Hassan a golden treble at the Tokyo Olympics when the Kenyan won gold with Hassan taking bronze.

Kipyegon though said she was focused on defending her title and thoughts of another world record performance could not be further from her mind.

“Everyone is impressed by 3:55 in the semi-final, but honestly it was not as easy as it looked,” the 29-year-old said.

“I have no idea what kind of race we will have in the final.

“All my world records during the summer confirmed that I could be very fast, but I am not going to run for a time in the final.

“The goal is the gold medal.”

Kipyegon is vastly experienced but for her 20-year-old teammate Nelly Chepchirchir it is all a novel experience and one she has taken too well as she won her semi-final to reach the final.

“My big goal was to get into the final and with a bit of luck, I will see what I can run,” she said.

“The final is going to be big. I have never run with Faith Kipyegon before so Tuesday it is going to be my first time.

“She is my big hero.”



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