Sifan Hassan (Oromo: Siifan Hassan; born 1 January 1993) is an Ethiopian-born Dutch middle- and long-distance runner. She won two gold medals at the 2019 World Championships, in the 1500 metres and 10,000 metres events, becoming the only athlete (male or female) in history to win both events at a single World Championships or Olympic Games.
Hassan was the 2016 1500m indoor World champion. At the 2015 Beijing World Championships she won a bronze medal in the 1500m and a bronze medal in the 5000m at the 2017 London edition. In February 2019 Hassan set the world record for a 5 km road race and in July 2019 she broke the women's mile world record.
Born in Adama in Ethiopia, she left the country as a refugee and arrived in the Netherlands in 2008 at age fifteen. She began running while undertaking studies to become a nurse.
Affiliated with Eindhoven Atletiek, she entered the Eindhoven Half Marathon in 2011 and won the race with a time of 77:10 minutes. She was also runner-up at two cross country races (Sylvestercross and Mol Lotto Cross Cup). She won those races in 2012, as well as the 3000 m at the Leiden Gouden Spike meeting.
Hassan made her breakthrough in the 2013 season. She ran an 800 metres best of 2:00.86 minutes to win at the KBC Night of Athletics and took wins over 1500 m at the Nijmegen Global Athletics and Golden Spike Ostrava meetings. On the 2013 IAAF Diamond League circuit she was runner-up in the 1500 m at Athletissima with a personal best of 4:03.73 minutes and was third at the DN Galan 3000 m with a best of 8:32.53 minutes – this time ranked her the fourth fastest in the world that year.
She gained Dutch citizenship in November 2013 and the following month she made her first appearance for her adopted country. At the 2013 European Cross Country Championships she won the gold medal in the under-23 category and helped the Dutch team to third in the rankings. She also won the Warandeloop and Lotto Cross Cup Brussels races that winter. At the beginning of 2014 she ran a world leading time of 8:45.32 minutes for the 3000 m at the Weltklasse in Karlsruhe, then broke the Dutch record in the indoor 1500 m with a run of 4:05.34 minutes at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix.
At the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, Hassan won the bronze medal in the 1500 meters. She became the second female Dutch athlete ever to win a medal at the World Championships, after Dafne Schippers. She was the third female Dutch winner at the 2015 European Cross Country Championships, following in the footsteps of fellow African migrants Hilda Kibet and Lornah Kiplagat.
Hassan won her heat 1500 m (one out of 3) in the 2016 Summer Olympics in 4:06.64 before Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon. In the Semifinals (one out of two) she placed second in 4:03.62 after Genzebe Dibaba who won in 4:03.06. In the final Chepngetich Kipyegon took the Olympic gold medal with 4:08.92, Dibaba was the runner up with 4:10.27 and Jennifer Simpson took the bronze medal in 4:01.53. Hassan placed fifth in a time of 4:11.23.
She finished 5th in the 1500 metres at the 2017 World Athletics Championships and won the bronze medal in the 5000 metres event. On 13 July 2018, she broke the European record for 5000 meters by finishing second at the Rabat Diamond League in 14:22.34.
She won the first Millicent Fawcett Mile at the 2018 London Anniversary Games in a time of 4:14.71, which was at the time the No. 4 mark of all time.
She won the gold medal at the 2018 European Championships with the time 14:46:12, setting the new championships record.
On 16 September 2018 she broke the European record for the half marathon with a time of 65:15, winning the Copenhagen Half Marathon
On 17 Feb, 2019 Hassan set the world record for a 5 km road race in Monaco. Her winning time was 14:44. On the men's side, Julien Wanders (Switzerland) set the male 5 km road race record, in the same race, with a time of 13:29. The 5 km road race is a world record event since 1 November 2017.
She is the 2019 Diamond league 1500 m & 5000 m winner. She is the training partner of Yomif Kejelcha.
Mile world record
On 12 July 2019, Hassan entered the mile run at the Herculis meet in Fontvieille, Monaco. Olha Lyakhova was the pace setter, taking the field through the first two laps (measured at the finish line, not the quarter-mile splits) in 64.26 and 63.94 (2:08.20). As is typical for Hassan, she was last off the start line, but over the next 150 metres, slowly eased herself around the field on the outside into the marking position behind Lyakhova. Gabriela DeBues-Stafford soon moved through the field in between Hassan and Lyakhova for the next lap before Hassan and Gudaf Tsegay separated from the field as the only chasers. Between 800 and 1000 metres, Lyakhova strained to keep on pace, but Hassan and Tsegay were moving forward. After Lyakhova dropped out, they were all alone, 15 metres up on the pack. At the bell, Hassan was looking back at her close chaser Tsegay at 3:10.13 (a 61.93 lap). Hassan accelerated, making a 5-metre break over the next 100 metres. Continuing at this pace, she passed 1500 metres at about 3:55. Hassan finished her final lap in 62.20, her final time of 4:12:33 breaking Svetlana Masterkova's almost 23-year-old world record. The athletes trailing Hassan rewrote the all-time top 25 list, with Laura Weightman moving into position #15, DeBues-Stafford into #17, and after #5 all-time Tsegay faded into the pack she was followed by Rababe Arafi, Axumawit Embaye, Winnie Nanyondo and Ciara Mageean moving into positions #20–23.
2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha
On 28 September, she became the 2019 World Champion in the 10,000 metres in her second race for that distance. Her first race at the 10,000-metre distance was in Stanford in a time of 31:18.12, doing just enough to achieve the qualifying standard for the 2019 World Championships. The winning time of 30:17.62 was the best time of the year on the track. Alina Reh (Germany) led the field after 3000 metres in 9:29.69. The front runner reached the halfway point in 15:32.70. Letensebet Gidey (Ethiopia) finished in 30:21.23, with Agnes Tirop (Kenya) coming in third place in 30:25.50. The second half of the run was covered in 14:45.
She also won the 1500 metres race with a time of 3:51.95 (sixth place on the 1500 m all-time-list), setting a new Championships and European record. The second-placed finisher was Faith Kipyegon in 3:54.22, a new Kenyan national record, and the third place went to Gudaf Tsegay (Ethiopia) with 3:54.38.
From late 2016 until October 2019, Sifan Hassan was coached by Alberto Salazar, the Nike Oregon Project coach. However, Alberto Salazar is currently serving a four-year ban for doping violations, leaving Hassan without any coach.
- 800 metres – 1:56.81 (Monaco (Stade Louis II), 20 July 2017)
- 1000 metres – 2:34.68 NR (Hengelo (Fanny Blankers-Koen Stadion), 24 May 2015)
- 1500 metres – 3:51.95 ER (Doha (Khalifa Stadium), 5 October 2019)
- One Mile – 4:12.33 WR (Monaco (Stade Louis II), 12 July 2019)
- 3000 metres – 8:18.49 ER (Stanford (Cobb Track & Angell Field), 30 June 2019)
- 5000 metres – 14:22.12 ER (London (Olympic Stadium), 21 July 2019)
- 10,000 metres – 30:17.62 (Doha (Khalifa Stadium), 28 September 2019)
- 5 km – 14:44 (WR)
- 10 km – 34:28
- 15 km – 53:57
- Half Marathon – 65:15 (ER, Copenhagen, 16 September 2018)
- 800 metres – 2:04.16 (Gent (Topsporthal), 9 February 2014)
- 1500 metres – 4:00.46 (NR, Stockholm (Globe Arena), 19 February 2015)
- Mile – 4:19.89 (NR, New York City, 11 February 2017)
- 3000 metres – 8:30.74 (NR, Karlsruhe (Europahalle), 1 February 2014)