JapanDutch runner Sifan Hassan won the second gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, when he finished first in the women’s 10,000m on the evening of August 7.

Hassan finished first with a record of 29 seconds 55 seconds 32, nearly a second faster than Kalkidan Gezahegne – Bahrain’s runner finished second after 29 minutes 56 seconds 18. The bronze medal belonged to Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey with 30 minutes 1 second 72.

Hassan celebrates victory in the usual fashion, extending his arms after reaching the finish line.  Photo: Reuters

Hassan celebrates victory in the usual fashion, extending his arms after reaching the finish line. Photo: Reuters

Gidey was the strongest candidate before the competition. The Ethiopian runner holds the world record in the women’s 10,000m distance with 29 minutes 01 seconds 04, in the Ethiopian athletics selection competition for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on June 8. Gidey that day broke Hassan’s own record of 29 minutes 6 seconds 82 set two days earlier, to more than 5 seconds.

Besides 10,000m, Gidey also holds the women’s 5,000m world record with a time of 14 minutes 6 seconds 62, the Ethiopian national record of 3,000m with a time of 8 minutes 20 seconds 27 and the world record of 15km with record 44 minutes 20 set in 2019.

Gidey’s number one position is clearly shown through the evolution of the competition on the Olympic field, but suddenly happened at the end.

Sifan Hassan won the 10,000m gold medal at the Olympics

After 20 minutes, there were only four names left in the race, with Gidey leading the way, followed by Hellen Obiri, Hassan and Kalkidan Gezahegne respectively. Gidey held the first place to the 9,800m mark, but lost his breath at the decisive moment and only finished third.

Hassan this time chose the strategy of hiding from the wind and persevered with that tactic, instead of exerting strength from the beginning and then exhausted when approaching the finish line like in the 1500m content. It was Hassan who ran after Gidey at 9,800m, and she sped up perfectly when running the last 100m in just 13 seconds 6 to finish first with 29 seconds 55 seconds 32.

Thanks to his victory in the 10,000m race, Hassan successfully closed the Olympics with his second gold medal, after the first at 5,000m. However, the Dutch runner could not realize his golden hat-trick dream in Tokyo this time, as he finished third in the 1500m final, despite leading most of the time.

Hassan patiently followed Gidey for most of the time, before a spectacular sprint in the last 100 meters to finish first.  Photo: Reuters

Hassan patiently followed Gidey for most of the time, before a spectacular sprint in the last 100 meters to finish first. Photo: Reuters

“I was very happy and cried during the medal ceremony,” Hassan said. “After finishing the race, I realized that the 2020 Olympics are over. The competitors are all very strong, and I am happy that the race is over.”

Hong Duy


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