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Sifan Hassan breaks one-hour world record by 413 m

The Dutch runner was duly challenged by marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei, who battled to the end

From the beginning of today’s one-hour track race in Brussels, there was no real doubt the women’s one-hour world record was going down. With the two main contenders, double world champion and double world record holder Sifan Hassan and marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei battling it out almost to the bitter end, Hassan prevailed, with 18,930 metres – 413 metres farther than Dire Tune’s world record of 18,517m, set in 2008. In a shocking turn, later in the evening it was announced that Kosgei was disqualified for briefly stepping off the track and onto the infield in the middle of the race.

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At the gun signalling 60 seconds remaining, Hassan took the lead. Kosgei also poured on a kick, briefly threatening Hassan’s lead, and pushing her almost to the very end. But the world champion surged, and Kosgei couldn’t catch her. The disappointment on Kosgei’s face was obvious at the race’s conclusion, and it was compounded when she was later DQ’d. Astonishingly, this was Kosgei’s very first track race.

Hassan is the reigning world champion in both the 1,500m and 10,000m and holds the world record in the mile and the 5K.

Afterwards, Hassan said she did not feel great at the beginning of the race, but that she felt better as time passed. The former Ethiopian who runs for the Netherlands dropped out of the 5,000m at the Monaco Diamond League last month. As noted during the broadcast, Hassan would have lapped the former world record holder, had she been in today’s race.

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At 45 minutes in, the leaders were running 74-second laps. Their pace slowed slightly as the minutes wound down, but they were ahead of world record pace from early in the hour-long race, thanks largely to the wavelight pacing technology on the track.

There were about a dozen women in the race, including marathoner Lonah Salpeter of Israel, but the real contest was always between Sifan and Kosgei.

The men’s one-hour race, featuring Sir Mo Farah contesting the world record of 21,285 m held by Haile Gebrselassie, kicks off later this evening in Brussels.

Full results for all today’s races can be found here.