Olympian Andy Vernon has helped four-strong training group to get ready for their half-marathon debuts
Sifan Hassan’s high hopes for Birmingham 2018September 12, 2017
After her record-breaking run last winter, Sifan Hassan is looking for more of the same when the IAAF World Indoor Championships take place in Birmingham
Sifan Hassan may believe she’s “no good at indoors” but her performances on the boards, including a world 1500m title in Portland last year, tell a different story.
Despite her apparent misgivings, the 24-year-old is a fan of indoor competition – especially in Birmingham where she ran a Dutch 3000m record earlier this year – and now she’s looking forward to the chance of returning to Arena Birmingham and securing further global success.
Not achieving what she had hoped for in the 1500m at the IAAF World Championships in London has left Hassan even more motivated for when major competition returns to the UK next March by way of the IAAF World Indoor Championships.
“I can’t wait,” smiles the 2015 European indoor gold medallist. “I’m so disappointed with my outdoor 1500m so I can’t wait to race indoors.”
Speaking after her bronze medal-winning 5000m run in the UK capital last month, Hassan said she would wake up every night thinking, ‘That was a nightmare’ about her 1500m performance. “But it was reality,” she added of her fifth-place finish which came two years after she claimed bronze over that distance in Beijing.
But it has added fuel to her fire.
“I’m no good at the indoors but two years ago I won!” she says. “I can’t wait to race. I’m really motivated.”
Born in Ethiopia, Hassan moved to Netherlands as a 15-year-old refugee. After acquiring Dutch citizenship in 2013, she went on to compete at the European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade and won under-23 gold.
Since then five other European medals – indoor and outdoor 1500m golds in 2015 and 2014 plus silver medals in 2014 and 2016 over 5000m and 1500m respectively and a senior cross country gold – have followed, along with her three global medals.
Hassan has a series of Dutch records to her name, too, including that one clocked earlier this year during the Müller Indoor Grand Prix held at the very same stadium as will be hosting next year’s World Indoor Championships.
“I like Birmingham indoors,” she explains. “This year I ran 8:30 for 3000m, a national record, so when I come to Birmingham I always run a PB!”
The smiley middle-distance star will be hoping for more of the same in six months’ time.
» The IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 will be staged at Arena Birmingham from March 1-4 with more than 400 athletes from 150 different countries expected to compete. For more information on the event, tickets and news please visit wicbirmingham2018.com