Sivan Hassan lowers the World Cup ceiling: “Three weeks ago I was still in a state of panic” | Currently

Sivan Hassan lowers the World Cup ceiling: "Three weeks ago I was still in a state of panic" |  Currently

Sivan Hasan became the queen of the Olympic Games in Tokyo last year with three medals, but it’s impossible to make a huge splash again in the next week and a half at the World Championships in Eugene, USA. The 29-year-old Dutchwoman doesn’t even know how far she’ll start at the moment.

“I will make a decision on Wednesday, but I already know I will not run three distances again,” Hassan said Monday from the United States during an online newspaper. “I’ve been good in Tokyo on three distances, so I know I can achieve something beautiful on all three distances. Only I’m not as good this year as I was in 2021.”

In Tokyo, she wrote the history of Dutch athletics with two golds (5000 and 10,000 metres) and one bronze (1,500 metres). It was an incredibly tough and busy schedule for Hassan, something not even possible at the World Championships in Eugene.

The World Cup 10,000m is scheduled to take place on the same day as the 1500m series, so Hassan will have to choose between these two distances. It will certainly run 5,000 metres.

Sivan Hassan in Tokyo with the 10,000m gold.


Sivan Hassan in Tokyo with the 10,000m gold.

Sivan Hassan in Tokyo with the 10,000m gold.

picture: Getty Images

Motivation gone

Because of her Olympic titles and because Hassan became world champion in Doha three years ago in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres, she is expected to get plenty again in Eugene, but the sport is tempering expectations. She is cautious after a tough year both physically and mentally.

“I found it difficult to get my sport back on,” says Hassan, who only played her first game of the season in Portland last week. “The Games were a bright spot, but it made it difficult for me to set new goals.”

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Hassan took a long vacation during which she did not train. “The motivation faded. I didn’t do anything for two or three months. That was fine, because at one point I missed running again. I felt like training again.”

At the World Championships in Doha in 2019, Sivan Hassan won the gold medal twice.


At the World Championships in Doha in 2019, Sivan Hassan won the gold medal twice.

At the World Championships in Doha in 2019, Sivan Hassan won the gold medal twice.

picture: Getty Images

‘I would have missed the year if it wasn’t for the World Cup’

However, the past few months haven’t gone the way Hassan wanted. She even considered not holding any competitions for the whole of 2022.

“If there had been no World Cup, I think I would have done that too. No, it wasn’t bad to take a year off mentally and physically. It didn’t matter to me, because I have these Olympic medals. Then I started preparing for the World Cup about a year ago Ten weeks, and I also felt how deep I went for Tokyo.”

Hassan was suffering from pain in her legs and inflammation in her lungs. “Until three weeks ago, things weren’t going well. I was in a panic. What was this supposed to be for the World Cup? But all of a sudden it went better and now I feel good and happy, although that doesn’t mean I will win medals.”

Perhaps Hassan is even satisfied with a medal at Eugene. “I know where I come from. I know now that hard training pays off. I have trained less hard now than in previous years, and if it turns out not enough for gold, so be it. And it probably won’t be. Bronze or silver. I don’t know where I stand compared to my competitors. Maybe they trained harder than me and they are better.”

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The World Cup kicks off in Eugene on Friday and runs until Sunday 24 July.

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