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Dutch runner Sifan Hassan wins the women's 10000m at the Tokyo Olympics

Sifan Hassan crossing the finish line of the 10000m in 1st place at the Tokyo Olympics
Sifan Hassan crossing the finish line of the 10000m in 1st place at the Tokyo Olympics

Dutch runner Sifan Hassan won the women's 10000m at the Tokyo Olympics.

Sifan Hassan was already a talking point at the Tokyo Olympics thanks to her gutsy performance in the 1500m heats, where she picked herself up after a fall and still won. She was also bidding to win an unprecedented triple in the 1500m, 5000m and 10000m at the Olympics. She won gold in 5000m and bronze in 1500m.

Sifan had already accomplished two-thirds of a comparable feat at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships, where she won 1500m and 10000m. She has now added the Olympic gold medal in the 10000m to the tally.

Tokyo Olympics 10000m - clash of the world record holders

Letesenbet Gidey's rivalry with Sifan Hassan in 2021 has been electrifying. Sifan first broke the world record in 10000m by running 29:06.82 at Hengelo on 6 June 2021. Two days later, Gidey ran 29:01.03 on her way to winning the event at the Ethiopian Olympic trials.

Gidey did all the hard work in today's race, setting a fast pace from the beginning with a lead pack of four runners. The pack included Sifan Hassan, Hellen Obiri (Kenya) and Kalkidan Gezahegne (Bahrain). With about seven laps to go, Obiri dropped back.

The lead pack of three continued until about 150m to go, when Gidey slowed down a bit to overtake a lapped runner. Hassan then made the decisive move of the final by using the opportunity to surge. Gidey didn't respond and both Hassan and Gezahegne took off.

Sifan Hassan won her second gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics in 29:55.32.

Gezahegne won silver, her first Olympic medal, in 29:56.18. The brave and somewhat unlucky Gidey won bronze in 30:01.72.

Ethiopian-born Gezahegne also ensured Bahrain got their first medal of the Tokyo Olympics.

Hellen Obiri had already won silver in 5000m when she was beaten by Sifan Hassan. Hellen was also the silver medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics where she was beaten to gold by her compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot. Today, she finished a creditable but disappointing fourth.

Tokyo Olympics finally saw a record that is unlikely to be topped anytime soon - Sifan Hassan's double gold in 5000m and 10000m, and her bronze in 1500m. The feat is not only unprecedented but unlikely to be matched or beaten by any man or woman.

Also read Sifan Hassan wins 5000m and Sifan gets bronze in 1500m

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Edited by SANJAY K K
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