Sivan Hasan failed to extend her world title in the ten kilometres. The 29-year-old Olympic champion did not finish fourth at Eugene in the United States. Letesenbet Gidey seized the gold.
Hassan entered the final round in fifth place. As is often the case, she relied on the ultimate sprint race, but had to get to know her boss at Ethiopian Gidey, who is also the world record holder. Kenya’s Helen Obery (silver) and her compatriot Margaret Kipkemboe (bronze) also outnumbered Hassan.
The final culminated in a long final sprint, with Hassan falling a short distance from the podium in the last 100 metres.
Hassan won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. It was then one of her three medals. She also won the gold in the five kilometers and the bronze in the 1500 meters. Three years ago at the World Championships in Doha, she won the gold medal in the ten kilometer race.
Prior to the game at Hayward Field, it was by no means certain that Hassan would win or receive a medal. I took a long break from running after last year’s Olympics in Tokyo, where she won three medals, and only started training in earnest again ten weeks before the World Cup. So there was no doubt that she would be at her best.
It turns out in the game that long interruptions and delays in getting ready pay off. I hid in the back of the field for most of the game and didn’t interfere with speed up front. The fight only flared up in the last four rounds, when the Ethiopian and Kenyan athletes advanced. Hassan managed to join in and saw a podium place on the last lap, but it’s tight in the final meters before the finish.
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