Contesting just her second ever race at the distance, Sifan Hassan weathered a phenomenal surge from Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey with four laps to go to win the 10,000m title on the second day of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha in a world leading time of 30:17.62.
Hassan was content to bide her time as the Kenyan triumvirate which was headed by reigning world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri dictated the pace for the majority of the race, taking turns at the front as well.
Hassan sat comfortably at the back of a leading group of six which broke away and while the Dutchwoman wasn’t overly exerted by the Kenyan challenge on offer in Doha, Hassan had to be proactive to cover Gidey’s audacious - but almost successful - break with four laps to go.
Twice a world U20 cross country champion, Gidey covered the 22nd lap in a sizzling 64.91 and the Ethiopian kept the pressure up on Hassan with laps of 65.33 and 66.16. Hassan was certainly tested by Gidey but while the Kenyan challenge began to dissipate, the 26-year-old gradually closed the gap on Gidey over the course of the last mile before smoothly moving past the leader as the bell chimed.
Hassan smashed the world record at the mile in the build-up to this championships and her confidence only grew as the gap shortened and the finish-line came into view.
“I knew I am more of a 1500m and 5000m runner so if I could get close I would have enough to win. She [Gidey] kept trying to kick but in the last 800m I knew I had it,” said Hassan who will return later in the championships to contest either the 1500m or 5000m. Her chances of adding to her title haul are exceedingly high in both events after covering the last 5000m tonight in 14:43.80 and the last 1500m in under four minutes.
Gidey's brave efforts were rewarded with the silver medal in 30:21.23 with Agnes Tirop from Kenya replicating her bronze medal-winning performance from London in 30:25.20.
Seven of the top eight finishers, including the three medallists, all set lifetime bests. There was also a lifetime best in seventh for Hassan’s compatriot Susan Krumins whose summer campaign was almost completely curtailed by illness.
The European silver medallist finished a very credible seventh in 31:05.40 to accrue her sixth top eight finish from global championships since finishing eighth in the 5000m at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in 2013.
Fiodorow opens Europe’s medal haul with silver in the hammer
Despite the absence of the reigning champion Anita Wlodarczyk from Poland who is recovering from surgery, Europe had a strong cohort of throwers competing in the women’s hammer final and the event yielded Europe’s first medal of the IAAF World Athletics Championships.
The silver medallist at the 2014 and 2018 European Championships, Poland’s Joanna Fiodorow picked up the first global medal of her career in Doha and she produced a sizeable lifetime best to achieve it. “This was the best timing to improve my personal record,” she said. “I managed to improve, I got my silver and I cannot ask for more.”
A winner for Team Europe at The Match in Minsk earlier this month, Fiodorow took this rich vein of form to Doha, adding more than a metre to her previous lifetime best in the first round with 76.35m. This proved sufficient for silver behind DeAnna Price from the United States who began her campaign with 76.87m before improving to 77.54m in the third round.
Moldova’s Zalina Petrivskaya was displaced from the medals in the fifth round by China’s Wang Zheng - 74.76m to 74.33m - while Ukraine’s Iryna Klymets rounded out the top five with a lifetime best of 73.56m.
Steven Mills for European Athletics