Sifan Hassan broke the world endurance record during the Diamond League match Memorial Van Damme in Brussels. In one hour the athlete walked 18,930 metres. That is more than 400 metres more than the previous record of 18,517 metres, which was in the hands of the Ethiopian Dire Tune since 12 June 2008.
“I’m very happy. The beginning was very hard for me, but after thirty minutes every minute went well. It’s fantastic, I’m very happy to be here,” Hassan jubilated afterwards.
Together with eleven other athletes the athlete started her adventure around 19.00 hours: within sixty minutes more than 46 laps on the athletics track.
With Hassan, already holding the world record for the mile and the European record for the half marathon, the Kenyan Brigid Kosgei and Lonah Chemtai Salpeter from Israel were also the favourites. But in the final minutes the Dutch only had competition from Kosgei.
In the final stage it was already clear that the hour record would be broken and it was up to whoever had the best sprint in the legs. A few weeks ago at the Diamond League in Monaco, Hassan stepped out on the 5000 meters, but in Brussels the battle with Kosgei, winner of the Chicago (2x) and London marathons, ignited in the last minute.
However, it didn’t take long before Hassan increased the pace and caught up with the rest of the field in a full sprint. Kosgei seemed to hook up for a while, but Hassan’s demarrage was too powerful for her.
Afterwards Kosgei was disqualified as well, because she would have put a foot next to the track, Salpeter also broke the record with a distance of 18,571 meters.
Among the men, the British Mo Farah and the Belgian Bashir Abdi attacked the world endurance record. After three quarters of an hour they were still behind Haile Gebreselassie from 2007 (21,285 meters), but then Farah accelerated.
Abdi stayed on the track of the four-time Olympic champion for a long time, but after 59 minutes Farah sprinted away from him. With 21 kilometers and 330 meters the world record is now his.