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Sifan Hassan smashes 18-year-old European 10,000m record

Hassan ran a 29:36.67 in Hengelo, Netherlands, to add an eighth European record to her resume

On Saturday, just a month after running the one-hour world record at the Brussels Diamond League, Dutch athlete Sifan Hassan posted another record-breaking performance, this time in the 10,000m at the FBK After Summer Competition in Hengelo, Netherlands. Hassan completed the 25-lap race in 29:36.67, destroying Paula Radcliffe‘s 18-year-old European 10,000m record of 30:01.09. This is Hassan’s eighth European record (three of which are world records), and it puts her at fourth all-time. 

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A record-breaking run 

Early on in the race, Hassan was shooting for much more than the European best, and it looked like Ethiopian Almaz Ayana‘s world record of 29:17.45 was within reach. Hassan ran with a pacer for the first nine laps, but instead of keeping steady when she was left to run alone, she accelerated. The track was equipped with Wavelight technology (just like the track in Valencia where Letesenbet Gidey and Joshua Cheptegei ran world records on Wednesday), but Hassan ignored this electronic pacer (which was moving at 29:22.5 pace) and ran ahead of it. She passed through 5K in 14:38, which, if she could hold on for the second half, would give her a 29:16 finishing time and world record. 

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Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative in Hengelo on Saturday, and persistent rain lowered the temperature to a chilly 8 C. The poor conditions ultimately got the better of Hassan, and she was eventually caught and passed by the pacing lights. Still, she managed to keep a quick pace, and she lapped the rest of the field on her 21st lap. Hassan crushed her competition, finishing more than a minute ahead of the next runners. 

“I am so happy to have run a new European record, especially a record that has stood for so long by such a strong athlete as Paula,” Hassan wrote in an Instagram post after the race. “It was a very difficult race today as it was so cold and wet. I was feeling really strong today and wished for a bit better conditions, but this record gives me a lot of confidence going into the World Half Marathon Championships next week in Poland where I hope for another great race.” 

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One of the greats 

With so many world, European and national records to her name, as well as two world championship gold medals, Hassan is without a doubt one of the best runners in the world right now. Other than her European best in the half-marathon (which she ran in 2018), all of Hassan’s records have come in the last two years. In addition to the one-hour best, she has the one-mile and 5K world records, and she owns the European records in the 1,500m, 3,000m, 5,000m, half-marathon and, now, 10,000m. 

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Other results in Hengelo 

There were also races over 1,000m (women) and 5,000m (men) in Hengelo on Saturday, although neither produced results as exciting as Hassan’s. Kenya’s

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Hassan will be on the hunt for another win (and potentially another record) in just one week in Poland at the World Half-Marathon Championships.