Double Olympic champ Sifan Hassan to attempt 5000m world record in Oregon

The Tokyo 2020 champion over 5000m and 10000m will run a special 5000m race at the Prefontaine Classic on Friday (20 August) with an eye on breaking the world record.

By ZK Goh
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

The double Olympic distance running champion Sifan Hassan will attempt to break the women's 5000m world record on the athletics track this Friday night (20 August) at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, USA.

The Dutchwoman, who won women's 5000m and 10000m gold at Tokyo 2020, in addition to a third unprecedented bronze in the 1500m, will compete in a special distance-event night session on Friday evening at Hayward Field, ahead of Saturday's Diamond League meet.

The silver and bronze medallists behind Hassan in the Tokyo 5000m, Hellen Obiri of Kenya and Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia, are however not competing in the race in the U.S., which will not form an official part of the Diamond League meet. Obiri will run the 2-mile race at the Pre Classic, also a non-Diamond League event, while Tsegay is not on the start list for any event in Oregon.

In Tokyo, Hassan became the first athlete to win medals in those three distances at a single Olympic Games, even recovering from a fall in her 1500m heat to go on to make the final and win bronze.

A third track world record?

If Hassan were successful, the 5000m would be the Dutch runner's third existing world record on track.

The 28-year-old currently holds the world record on track in the mile run (4:12.33) and the one hour run (18390m).

She also previously owned the 10000m world record, having lowered it on 6 June to 29:06.82, before it was broken again by five seconds two days later by Letesenbet Gidey.

Hassan also holds the 5km road record in a women's-only race at 14 minutes 44 seconds.

The Netherlands runner's personal best over 5000m on track is 14:22.12, and she would need to shave 15.5 seconds off that mark to match the existing world record (14:06.62), currently held by Ethiopia's Gidey.

The Dutchwoman has previously trained under American coach Alberto Salazar, who is currently serving a four-year US Anti-Doping Agency suspension, although Hassan has always insisted she is a clean athlete. Salazar has separately been banned from athletics for life by the U.S. Center for SafeSport.