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5000m European record for Hassan

sifan hassan

With little more than three weeks before the gun goes on the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships, many athletes with medal pretentions were in action at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rabat on Friday night and none more so than the Netherlands’ 2014 European 1500m champion Sifan Hassan.

Sifan Hassan sets new 5000m European record

Hassan, who may well try to attempt the double of 1500m and 5000m in Berlin, hung onto Hellen Obiri when the Kenyan hit the front just after the bell and was rewarded with a European record of 14.22.34, and a personal best-cum-national record by almost 20 seconds.

“I’m looking forward to Berlin now, I’m feeling very strong,” said a smiling Hassan, who showed great tenacity by staying with the pace and then being the only runner in a classy field to challenge Kenya’s reigning world champion Hellen Obiri over a thrilling last lap, although the latter eventually prevailed in 14:21.75.

Hassan has also won continental titles indoors and over cross country but left Amsterdam two years ago, in front of her family and friends, after only getting the silver in the 1500m.

Maria Lasitskene remains the gold medal favourite in the German capital despite her impressive 45-meeting winning streak coming to an end in Rabat when she failed to go higher than 1.90m.

“I had no problem, no injuries, it was just a bad day, these things happen,” said the Russian, admirably making no excuses despite some swirling wind conditions noted by several other jumpers.

Mirela Demireva and Yuilya Levchencko both cleared 1.94m while Lasitskene surprising failed at a height she has negotiated with ease so many times in the past.

Demireva, with a flawless record up to that point, then passed 1.97m and watched her Ukrainian rival fail three times. With the competition won, Bulgaria’s 2016 Olympic silver medallist had the bar put up to a personal best height of 2.02m but to no avail.

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