Friday, August 15, 2014
Sifan Hassan won gold medal in 1500 m at European Championships in Zurich
August 15, 2014 (Google Translation from Dutch language – NOS) — Sifan Hassan won the gold medal in the 1500m at the European Championships in Zurich, yesterday, August 14, 2014. Hassan (21) was born in Adama, Oromia, and obtained a Dutch passport only last November. Later this week, Hassan was out on the five kilometers.
It is the second Dutch gold medal in Zurich; Wednesday Dafne Schippers was the fastest in the 100m.
Hassan fitted into the finals its usual tactic. She sat only at the start of the final round in the lead and accelerated, but this time she let herself overtake weather by its biggest competitor, the Swedish Abeba Aregawi. On the final straight, the 21-year-old Arnhem hit mercilessly. Aregawi had to settle for silver in 4.05,08. The bronze medal was for the British Laura Weightman in 4.06,32.
Sifan Hassan left Ethiopia 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 metres at the Leiden Gouden Spike meeting.
Sifan 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 metres 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 metres 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.