Sifan Hassan wins 1500m heat despite fall

TOKYO — Distance runner Sifan Hassan, already owner of four World Championship medals and two world records, is attempting an unheard-of triple at the Tokyo Olympics: she’s entered in the 1500 meters, the 5000m and the 10,000m.

On Monday morning in the second heat of the 1500m qualifying round, at the start of the final lap Edinah Jebitok of Kenya appeared to clip the heel of a runner in front of her, falling, and Hassan tripped over Jebitok, hitting the track pretty hard.

But Hassan got up very quickly and started chasing the pack — and caught them.

And passed them all, running in Lane 2 or 3 for the final 200m, which adds a little bit of distance.

She went from 11th place to first in 300 meters.

If Hassan finishes the medal race in all three events, she’ll have raced 24,500 meters — the 1500m is three rounds, the 5000m two, and the 10,000m is one medal race. That’s about 15 1/4 miles. She already won her 5,000m opener on Friday, and the gold medal race is Monday night, roughly 12 hours after her fall and finish in the morning.

Born in Ethiopia, Hassan competes for the Netherlands, having arrived in the country as a refugee when she was 15-years-old. She won gold in both the 1500m and 10,000m at the 2019 World Championship.

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