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Sifan Hassan: Unstoppable and Talented Runner Challenging Her Athletic Capabilities

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Sifan Hassan is a complete athlete. She does middle and long-distance running and is successful at both. She’s the only athlete in Olympic history to win medals across these events. She had a humble beginning and worked her way up to the success she enjoys today. Let’s explore her career.

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Sifan Hassan Early Days

The athlete was born in Ethiopia and grew up in the countryside. Hassan began running here. At the age of 15, she went to the Netherlands and continued running while studying. Hassan joined the Eindhoven Atletiek team. This allowed her to compete in the Eindhoven half-marathon, which she won at 77:10 minutes. 

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Breakthrough

In 2013, Sifan Hassan participated in several events. 

The same year, she became a Dutch citizen but wasn’t eligible to compete at the World Championships. Her first competition as a Dutch citizen was the European Cross-Country Championship. Hassan won the event to help the Netherlands claim a third spot. 

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Success as a Dutch Runner

In 2014, the middle and long-distance runner finished the 3000m in a world-leading time of 8.45.32 at the Weltklasse in Karlsruhe. At the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix, she finished the 1500m in a time of 4.05.35 to break the Dutch indoor record.

Sifan Hassan continued with her form in 2015. She won the 1500-meter bronze medal and became the second Dutch woman to win a medal at the World Championships. In 2016 and 2017, the Ethiopian-Dutch runner raced in some events but didn’t get any significant victories.

In 2018, she finished the 5000 meters in the Diamond League at a time of 14:22.34 to break the European record. At the European Championships that year, she set a new record in the 5000m at 14.46.12. She also captured the half-marathon record at the Copenhagen Half-Marathon.

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More Records

Sifa Hassan at the World Championships in Budapest. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

In the subsequent years, Sifan Hassan proved herself as a force in the middle and long-distance events. In 2019, she set the world record in the 5KM after she ran 14.44 and, later, the European 3000m record. It turned out to be a successful year.

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At the Diamond League, Sifan Hassan won gold in the 1500m and 5000m. Hassan claimed the gold medals in the 1500 and 10,000m at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

The Dutch runner broke the European record in the 10,000 meters and lowered Paula Radcliffe’s record by 24 seconds. 

At the Tokyo Olympics, Hassan added to her medals cabinet, clinching the 5000m and 10,000 gold medals. In the 1500m, she settled for bronze. 

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Marathon Debut

Sifa Hassan crosses the line at the London Marathon. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

Going by her track record, Sifan Hassan loves a challenge. After competing in half-marathons, 1500m, 5000m, and 10,000m, one more thing was on her mind. The marathon. She simply says that she “wants to see what she can achieve here.” 

When she lined up for the London Marathon in April 2023, it was an unfamiliar territory. However, it wasn’t her first time in such a space. Sifan Hassan won the event under dramatic circumstances. She was nearly taken out by a motorbike, and an injury threatened to dampen her debut. The daring runner crossed the line in 2:18:33.

In October 2023, the Ethiopian-born Dutch runner won the Chicago marathon in 2:13:44. She set a new course record and the second-fastest time in the event.

Sifan Hassan is the most dynamic runner the world has seen. Her continuous drive to surmount new challenges is admirable, especially after a long and successful career.  

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