Athletics wrap: Hassan’s record reinforces Hengelo’s reputation
Lizzie Lee runs a lifetime best of 33:04.66 at the European 10,000m Cup
Dutch athlete Sifan Hassan wins the women’s 10,000m during the FBK Games in Hengelo. Photograph: Getty Images
Hengelo has built a reputation as a world record track over the years, and Sifan Hassan reinforced that on Sunday by running the fastest 10,000 metres by some distance, the Dutch woman clocking an astonishing 29:06.82.
Racing on the latest stop on the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold, Hassan improved her previous best by half a minute - her European 10,000m record of 29:36.67 set last October on the same track - and bettered by more than 10 seconds the 29:17.45 global mark for the 25-lap event which had been set by Almaz Ayana at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
On world record pace from the start, the Dutch star began behind pacemakers Diane van Es and Jackline Rotich. She went through halfway in 14:38.75 and continued to up the pace, eventually crossing the finish line in 29:06.82 before raising her hands to the air and sinking to the track in delight.
Hassan adds this latest mark to her world records in the mile, one hour event and road 5km. Irish interest at the same meeting saw Phil Healy add further ranking points towards Tokyo qualification in the 400m, clocking 52.58 seconds in fifth place, the win there going to Belgium’s Cynthia Bolingo in 51.16.
The Cork athlete is already well inside the Tokyo rankings for the 200m. After clocking 3:36.81 midweek, UCD student Luke McCann ran 3:41.48 in the 1,500m, that race was won by Britain’s Jake Wightman in 3:34.67.
Saturday saw Lizzie Lee run a lifetime best of 33:04.66 at the European 10,000m Cup at the Birmingham University Track. The Leevale athlete was making her first international appearance since 2018, finishing 17th in a race won by Britain’s Eilish McColgan in 31:19:21. Hiko Tonosa also made his international debut for Ireland, placing 12th and his 28:13.10 the 11th fastest on the all-time Irish list.
Elsewhere Niamh McCarthy won a second gold medal for Team Ireland in Bydgoszcz in Poland at the European Para Athletics Championships, defending her F41 Discus title, producing a season’s best throw of 30:03m.
McCarthy’s was the second podium of the weekend following a silver medal performance by Michael McKillop in the 1,500m. Team Ireland return home with four medals in total thanks to McCarthy and McKillop along with the gold won earlier this week by Greta Streimikyte and bronze from Mary Fitzgerald.