What to look out for: Hassan tilting towards the 5000m in Berlin

Sifan Hassan
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The Netherlands' Sifan Hassan looks set to compete in the 5000m at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships 

Sifan Hassan’s range is such that she has already represented her country globally in the 800m, 1500m and 5000m and she could feasibly challenge for titles in all three events at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships next month.

Hassan has doubled up at the last three major outdoor championships - as well as this year’s IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham where she won medals in both the 1500m and 3000m - but the scheduling all but rules out any sort of double in Berlin, especially with the 1500m and 5000m finals taking part within 20 minutes on the same day.

Hassan won the European 1500m title in 2014 followed by silver behind Poland’s Angelika Cichocka in 2016 but the Dutchwoman looks set to step up to the 5000m in the German capital next month when Berlin stages the inaugural multi-sport European Championships alongside Glasgow.

Now 25 and getting ready for her third successive European Championships, Hassan made a late start to her summer campaign due to a foot injury but she is proved to be more than ahead of the curve in her race to be fit for Berlin. Hassan clocked 3:58.39 for 1500m in Lausanne to move to second on the 2018 European lists behind Laura Muir, a precursor to one of the finest performances of her career thus far.

Contesting her first 5000m since the IAAF World Championships in London last summer when she atoned for a disappointing 1500m campaign with a bronze medal over the longer event, Hassan chased Hellen Obiri home in the Rabat Diamond League on Friday night, breaking the European record in the process with 14:22.34 - a performance which places her at the top of the European lists by half-a-minute.

"I still have to consult with my coaches Alberto Salazar and Pete Julian, but it looks like I'm choosing the 5000m at the European Championships,” Hassan told Dutch broadcaster NOS in a recent interview.

Hassan also moved into the world all-time top-10 with that 5000m performance and with a lifetime best of 1:56.71 over 800m, Hassan will be redoubtable in a sprint finish. As if that wasn’t a daunting enough proposition for her rivals, Hassan is confident there is still room for improvement once she gets more speedwork under her belt.

“The time is good but I can show an even faster time than the one I did in Rabat because I did not have enough speed because of an injury. I could not go all out in a sprint finish,” she said.

The 5000m final at the European Championships takes place on the last day of the programme on 12 August at 8.55pm. It is the last individual track final on the programme and Hassan is likely to face reigning champion Yasemin Can from Turkey and Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen.

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More information on the 2018 European Championships:        

- The Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships will be part of the first multisport European Championships along with co-hosts Glasgow.           

- It will be a must-watch, must-attend experience that elevates the status of European Champions, uniting existing European Championships to celebrate the highest honour in European sport and celebrating the defining moments that create Champions.       

- It is the continent’s ultimate multi-sport event, an 11-day celebration of European sport staged every four years.     

- Seven of Europe’s leading sports (athletics, aquatics, rowing, golf, cycling, gymnastics, triathlon) will be brought together for the first edition.      

- The European Athletics Championships in Berlin will be staged 7-12 August. The six other sports will be staged in Glasgow through 2-12 August.      

- 4500 athletes and 52 nations will compete across the seven sports.          

- Potential TV audience of over one billion with millions more across multiple digital platforms.      

- Over half a million spectators expected.