Sifan Hassan wins the 5000m at the Diamond League final in Brussels (© Giancarlo Colombo)
Organisers of the AG Memorial Van Damme have announced that world 1500m and 10,000m champion Sifan Hassan will attempt to break the one-hour world record at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Brussels on 4 September.
The Dutch distance runner will have to cover more than 18.517km within 60 minutes to break the record set in 2008 by Ethiopia’s Dire Tune. If she is at her best, that distance should be within Hassan’s capabilities; when she set a half marathon PB of 1:05:15 in 2018, Hassan covered roughly 19.375km during the first hour.
Hassan is familiar with the track in the King Baudouin Stadium. Having set national records there for 3000m in 2014 and the mile in 2015, last year she secured the Diamond League title over 5000m in the Belgian capital. Aside from her unique double at the World Championships in Doha, Hassan’s momentous 2019 season also included a world mile record of 4:12.33 in Monaco, a European 3000m record of 8:18.49 in Stanford, and a European 5000m record of 14:22.12 in London.
“This is a strange and difficult season, but I have been able to continue my training as well as I could and I feel fit and healthy,” said Hassan. “There are very few occasions to compete these days and I am delighted with the invitation from the AG Memorial Van Damme to attack the one hour world record. It is a strong record but I take the challenge with both hands and I believe that I’m in the right shape to succeed.”
An attack on the men’s one-hour world record (Haile Gebreselassie’s 21.285km) had been previously announced with four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah and Belgian Bashir Abdi set to take on the challenge. They will now be joined by Norway’s Sondre Moen, who has set his sights on breaking the European record of 20.944km set by Jos Hermens in 1976.
A men’s 1500m has been added to the programme and it will be headlined by Norwegian brothers Henrik, Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen.
Organisers for World Athletics