Dutch athlete back in British capital for the first time after triumph in April’s London Marathon
The last time Sifan Hassan ran in London she shocked the world, winning the London Marathon in her debut over 26.2 miles.
Her victory was one of the most extraordinary in the event’s history and included everything from stretching her left leg at 20km to almost colliding with one of the support bikes as she went to collect her drink on the Embankment at 40km.
Now, back in London, her appearance at the London Diamond League should in theory be less chaotic. This is Hassan we are talking about though.
The 30-year-old is part of a stellar 5000m line-up that includes Gudaf Tsegay, Beatrice Chebet and Alicia Monson to name just a few.
Olympic champion in the discipline, Hassan will be one of the favourites and no doubt be keen to improve her 5000m personal best of 14:22.12, which she actually set at the London Diamond League in 2019.
Faith Kipyegon, who has now broken three world records over 1500m, mile and 5000m in just two months, is providing even more motivation for Hassan ahead of the World Championships in Budapest.
AW caught up with Hassan at the London Diamond League press conference.
Faith Kipyegon broke the world 5000m record last month [14:05.20]. Is that extra motivation for you?
It’s really big motivation for me. I love challenges and when athletes are running hard it is better that I can see them if I run harder. I don’t want me to be the only one running well. I’m really grateful for athletes like Faith [Kipyegon] and Letesenbet [Gidey]. I’m always really happy because I just want to run more but I can’t do everything. If you think it’s possible then it’s easier.
What they are showing is possible. I’ve already run the mile world record but I know I can run harder. When Faith is running yesterday like that I know I can run harder. Faith has ran 14:06 over 5000m and I think we can both go under 14 minutes. We’re going to surprise a lot of people.
What was your reaction to Faith Kipyegon’s world mile record [4:07.64] in Monaco?
She is amazing and she inspires me to run faster. I have such great respect for her and I think it’s amazing. I think a lot of female athletes are getting better and quicker. Faith is showing a lot of younger athletes and myself that it is possible to break more world records.
I thought she’d break the world record, but the way that she did it was amazing. Congratulations and I’ll see you again!
Do you plan to run both the 5000m and 10,000m at the World Championships in Budapest?
I’m going to run but I don’t know yet if I’ll do three [disciplines]. Whatever distance I run, I’m going to have a challenge as I’ll race Letesenbet over 10,000m and in the 5000m it will be Faith. I also want to try and improve my 800m personal best at some point next year [1:56.81 from 2017]. There will also be no marathon in Budapest!
I’ve already done the three [1500m, 5000m and 10,000m] at the Tokyo Olympics and if I do all of them again it’s because it’s a challenge and fun to do. I see other athletes who could also run a lot of distances. I’d love to see Jakob [Ingebrigtsen] over 800m and 10,000m. I want to see those who are doing 1500m races run in other events.
How important is Paris 2024 in the long-term? What’s the dream?
I’m actually thinking more about that than the World Championships in Budapest. For athletes, it’s been a very challenging few years as we’ve come from Tokyo to Eugene and now Budapest and Paris is coming up. The Olympics is very hard. We think we have a time in our heads but it’s always so quick.
When I look back I was really grateful I took a big break last year [season opener on July 8]. I’ve got a fresh mind for Budapest and Paris.
READ MORE: London Diamond League preview
I hope I’m not injured, that I’m healthy and everything is good in my brain.
Would you like to run the marathon at Paris 2024?
I don’t know! Paris has such a special place in my heart as it’s in Europe and so close to the Netherlands. It feels like home. Even when we flew back from Tokyo via Paris I was already getting emotional! I’m already focused on Paris. I think I wouldn’t survive the stress if the wait was four years.
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