Dutch distance runner takes 10 seconds off Almaz Ayana’s global mark with stunning display at the FBK Games, a Continental Tour Gold event in the Netherlands
When Sifan Hassan was born in early 1993, the world record for the women’s 10,000m stood at 30:13.74 courtesy of Ingrid Kristiansen. The sport was stunned in the summer of ’93 when Wang Junxia of China took a huge chunk off the mark with 29:31.78 and then, at the Rio Olympics five years ago, Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia sliced a further 14 seconds off the record with 29:17.45.
On Sunday (June 6) at the latest World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in Hengelo, Hassan ran 29:06.82 to take almost 11 seconds from Ayana’s mark. Cruising through each kilometre in about 2:55-56 – passing halfway in 14:38 – and knocking out the final 1000m in 2:45, the 28-year-old Dutch runner added to the world mile record that she already holds. In addition, she has set world records in the one-hour run and 5km too.
After winning the world 1500m and 10,000m titles in Doha in 2019, she will now go into the Olympics as strong favourite to win whichever events she chooses to compete in.
“Wow, to run this world record here today in Hengelo is something I could only dream of,” said Hassan, who lapped the entire field despite her closest pursuers beating the Olympic qualifying standard.
“It’s the perfect confirmation of the hard work we’ve put in getting ready for Tokyo. I am so happy to share this record in front of my Dutch fans!”
These 40th FBK Games are named in honour of Fanny Blankers-Koen. The Dutch athlete was one of the stars of the 1948 Olympics but at those Games the longest running race for women was a mere 200m.
How times have changed. The 10,000m was introduced into the Olympic programme for women in 1988 and Hassan is around three minutes quicker than the early female pioneers of the event in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Mondo Duplantis was also in terrific form and won the pole vault with 6.10m – the second highest mark he has ever achieved outdoors – before attempting a world record height of 6.19m.
“I felt really motivated coming to this meet, I haven’t felt like that in a pretty long time – that I really had something to prove,” said Duplantis. “Today I wanted to show everybody that I can still jump really high.”
British athletes also had a successful meeting led by Dina Asher-Smith, Jemma Reekie and Jake Wightman.
Asher-Smith clocked 10.92 (0.8) to beat Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria by one tenth of a second with GB team-mate Daryll Neita third in 11.04 and that moved her to second in the all-time UK rankings.
“It was nice to run without a gale-force wind!” said Asher-Smith, referring to her opening race of the season on May 23 in Gateshead where the weather was a lot wetter and windier. “I’m happy to have put together a good race and won today. I was hoping to go a little bit faster, but it will come when it wants to come.”
Reekie led a GB one-two-three in the women’s 800m as she clocked 2:00.77 with Laura Muir and Ellie Baker close behind in 2:00.95 and 2:01.02 respectively. Uganda’s world champion Halimah Nakaayi was sixth in 2:02.52 in her first race since last August.
Wightman won the men’s 1500m by a second from Abel Kipsang of Kenya and Jesus Gomez of Spain as the Brit clocked 3:34.67 to continue his excellent season.
Laviai Nielsen ran 51.44 to finish runner-up in the women’s 400m behind Cynthia Bolingo of Belgium’s 51.16.
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico clocked a fast 12.44 (0.5) to win the 100m hurdles.
Fred Kerley was a decisive winner of the men’s 400m in 44.74. Olympic champion Omar McLeod came close to Grant Holloway’s world 110m hurdles lead of 13.07, clocking 13.08 (1.7) to win ahead of the Devon Allen, while the men’s 400m hurdles was won by Abderrahman Samba in 48.56.
A messy men’s 800m race was won by Mateusz Borkowski of Poland in 1:47.02 with Benjamin Robert of France second and Elliot Giles pipping Daniel Rowden and Kyle Langford in the race to finish first Brit home.
Competing on home soil, Femke Bol won the 400m hurdles in a meeting record of 54.33 as she held off Ukraine’s Anna Ryzhykova.
Cuba’s world discus champion Yaime Perez continued her unbeaten record this year too with a 65.91m throw to win by 11cm from Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic.
Elsewhere Augustin Bey of France won the men’s long jump with 8.16m and Maksim Nedasekau took the high jump with 2.24m.