Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan smashes women’s 10,000m record by 10 seconds

The game-changing effect of super spikes on track and field was again dramatically emphasised in Hengelo on Sunday as Sifan Hassan obliterated the women’s 10,000m record by more than 10 seconds.

On a day when Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith ran a meeting record of 10.92sec in the women’s 100m, it was the Dutchwoman who stole the show in front of her home fans. The 28-year-old Hassan, who appeared to be wearing the latest version of the Nike ZoomX Dragonfly spikes, which have been billed as the “fastest shoes ever”, ran 29:06.82 to destroy the previous best of 29:17:45 set by Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia at the 2016 Olympics.

Incredibly Hassan, who fled from Ethiopia for the Netherlands at age 16 as a refugee, ran the final kilometre in 2:45.77 as she powered into history. She now owns world records for the mile, road 5km, one hour run and the 10,000m – as well as 1500m and 10,000m world titles.

“Wow, to run this world record here today in Hengelo is something I could only dream of,” said Hassan, who achieved her latest world record on the same track where Haile Gebrselassie set his final 10,000m world record in 1998 and Kenenisa Bekele set his 5,000m world record in 2004.

“It’s the perfect confirmation of the hard work we’ve put in getting ready for Tokyo. I am so happy to share this record in front of my Dutch fans. I am so happy.”

In 2019 World Athletics introduced new rules for track spikes, limiting the use of plates and restricting the sole to no thicker than 30mm. However they have had little effect. All four men’s and women’s 5,000m and 10,000m world records have been broken over the past 10 months. Athletes have also benefited from pacing lights on the track, which allows them to see whether they are on target for a record.

Hassan, who was trained by Alberto Salazar until the controversial American coach’s four-year doping ban in 2019, has always maintained she was a clean athlete and believed in him. Salazar, meanwhile, is appealing against his ban.

Later in the afternoon Asher-Smith also looked impressive as she breezed to victory in the women’s 100m at the Continental Tour event. The 26-year-old, a silver medallist at the 2019 world championships, clocked 10.92sec in Holland, not only breaking the meeting record but well inside the Olympic qualification time of 11.15.

There was a slight tailwind, but Asher-Smith looked to have plenty left in the tank, finishing ahead of rivals Dafne Schippers and Blessing Okagbare and setting a meeting record. Britain’s Daryll Neita was third with a personal best 11.04.

“It’s amazing to be back here in Hengelo,” Asher-Smith said. “I remember when I raced Dafne here in 2015. It was my first ever race breaking the British record and I’m really happy to have broken the meeting record. It’s so nice to have real people back at a track meet.”

There were also wins for Britain’s Jemma Reekie in the women’s 800m and Jake Wightman in the men’s 1500m.

Reekie took it out from the front to win the 800m in 2:00.77 to hold off her fast-finishing training partner Laura Muir. Meanwhile Wightman looked highly impressive as he broke clear with 200m to go to win in 3:34:67 from Abel Kipsang.

Meanwhile the world pole vault record holder Mondo Duplantis cleared 6.10m in a highly impressive display, although he was unable to set a world record after failing three times at 6.19m.

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