Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan secured a second title and third medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday, showing her blistering pace down the home straight to win the women’s 10000 metres.
The 28-year-old Ethiopian-born Hassan, world champion over 1500m and 10000m, won the 5000m title and picked up bronze in the 1500m in her bid for an unprecedented treble in Tokyo.
“I’m so happy and I cried during the medal ceremony,” Hassan said. “I actually realised that I’m done, the Games are over. It’s not about how strong I am but how strong are the ladies I challenge. Now I’m happy, I’m done, it’s over.”
Bahrain’s Kalkidan Gezahegne clinched the silver medal, while Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey took the bronze. The women’s 10000m was one of the most highly-anticipated events of the Games with the world’s all-time top-two athletes — Hassan and Gidey — going head-to-head at the Olympic Stadium.
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The pair had only clashed once before over the 25-lap race at the 2019 World Championships, where Hassan beat Gidey to gold. Gidey, who also holds the world record in 5000m, came into the race with fresh legs, having decided to only contest the 10000m in Tokyo.
Japan’s Ririka Hironaka led for the first six laps before Gidey made her move followed by a pack of three Kenyans and the Ethiopian stayed ahead for most of the last seven kilometres.
Hassan tucked in behind the leaders and with about 3000m remaining she increased her pace to move into second spot. Despite running three races in Tokyo’s searing heat and humidity in the last few days, Hassan managed to find an even higher gear before the final turn to surge past Gidey and cross the line in 29:55.32s.
Gezahegne, also Ethiopian-born, held her pace in the closing stages as Gidey faded after trying to make her way past a back-marker. She clinched silver in 29:56.18s, with Gidey finishing more than five seconds behind her to take the bronze medal.
– Lasitskene wins women’s high jump gold –
Russian Mariya Lasitskene added Olympic gold to her three world titles, winning the women’s high jump at the Tokyo Games with a leap of 2.04 metres on Saturday.
Mariya Lasitskene of Team ROC reacts after winning the gold medal in the Women’s High Jump final at the Tokyo Olympics. – Getty Images
Australia’s Nicola McDermott won silver with 2.02 metres and Ukrainian Yaroslava Mahuchikh claimed the bronze with 2.00m.
McDermott, drawing support from her team-mates and coaches in the stands, clapped her hands in the air and steeled herself for one last try for gold but she failed to clear the bar.
An emotional Lasitskene, representing the Russian Olympic Committee team, knelt on the track and buried her face in her hands after securing victory with her best performance of the season.