(05-Oct) -- Seemingly with ease, Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan ran away from a loaded field to win the 1500m title today at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Khalifa Stadium in Doha. Leading nearly the entire way, she destroyed the previous championships record by about seven seconds, scorching a 3:51.95, the sixth-fastest time in history. Moreover, she became the first athlete in the history of these championships --male or female-- to win both the 10,000m and the 1500m, a seemingly impossible double.
PHOTO: Sifan Hassan winning the 1500m title at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha (photo by Getty Images for IAAF; used with permission)
"This is amazing for me," Hassan told IAAF interviewers just after her race. "This is such an honor. I'm showing what you can do with hard work. It was amazing when I crossed the line and I saw that time. I was so happy."
Hassan, 26, left defending and reigning Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon of Kenya in her wake, and the tiny Kenyan had to settle for silver in 3:54.22, a new Kenyan record. Ethiopia's Gudaf Tsegay held off America's Shelby Houlihan to take bronze, 3:54.38 to 3:54.99. Tsegay's mark was a personal best while Houlihan set an American record.
Hassan's victory tonight capped off an emotional week for the Nike Oregon Project athlete. After winning the 10,000m on the second day of these ten-day championships her Oregon Project coach, Alberto Salazar, received a four-year suspension for "multiple anti-doping rule violations," according to the USA Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). In a statement Hassan proclaimed that she was a clean athlete, noting that the USADA investigation focused on activities which happened several years before she joined the group. However, suspicions that she might not have been competing cleanly clearly stung.
"It was a hard win for me," Hassan said tonight. "I was just so angry with what people were saying. I've worked so hard to be on top over the years."
About 45 minutes after Hassan's victory, Kenya's Hellen Obiri also used front-running tactics to win the women's 5000m title, also in a championships record (14:26.72). Obiri, who won the IAAF World Cross Country Championships title last March, successfully defended her title at these championships. She also won in London two years ago.
"It was not easy to run a championship record without pacemakers," Obiri told IAAF interviewers. "But I felt the energy from the crowd and stayed focused."
Behind Obiri, her compatriot Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi passed Germany's Konstanze Klosterhalfen in the homestretch to take silver in 14:27.49. Klosterhalfen won the bronze, the first ever for a German woman in this discipline at an IAAF World Athletics Championships, in 14:28.43. Underscoring the quality of the field, eleven of the 15 finishers set personal best times, and 13 broke 15 minutes.