Sifan begins bid for Tokyo treble with 5,000m gold

Great recovery: Sifan Hassan (in orange) of Holland and Edina Jebitok of Kenya fall down during Heat 2 of the 1,500m race. Right: She went on to win the race. — Reuters

TOKYO: Holland’s Sifan Hassan won the women’s 5,000m gold to kick off her bid for an unprecedented Olympic treble at the Tokyo Games.

Sifan, who has also confirmed her participation in the 1,500m and 10,000m races in Tokyo, sped away from the leading pack in the last lap to take victory in 14:36.79.

The 28-year-old Sifan also won the 1,500m and 10,000m world championship titles in Doha in 2019.

Kenya’s Hellen Obiri, a double world champion and Olympic silver medallist five years ago in Rio, took the silver ahead of Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay, who clinched bronze.

Earlier yesterday, Sifan picked herself up following a fall to win her 1,500m heat.

She crashed to the ground when Kenya’s Edinah Jebitok tripped and fell in front of her as the bell went for the final lap.

There were gasps of disbelief from within the sparsely populated stadium. However, the Ethiopia-born athlete got back to her feet and moved through the gears as she hunted the leaders down.

Needing to finish in the first six to qualify automatically for the semi-finals, she ate up the ground to the leading pack and had the strength to cross the line in first place in a time of 4min 5.17sec.

She earned herself a round of applause from watching athletes including American Cory McGee, who had run in the previous heat.

“That was awesome,” said McGee, who qualified as one of the six fastest losers.

“To be able to get up and focus like that and finish first is amazing.” — Agencies

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