Hassan breaks Dutch 1500m record with 3:55.93 in Rabat

Sifan Hassan
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Sifan Hassan clocked 3:55.93 to finish second over 1500m in the Rabat Diamond League

Almost a year on from breaking the European 5000m record in Rabat, Sifan Hassan returned to Morocco on Sunday to make another huge statement in a sensational 1500m at the IAAF Diamond League. 

Dutch star Hassan swapped the track for the roads after the end of the last outdoor season and it has done nothing but enhance her speed in the heat of battle over almost four laps.

With a run of 3:55.93 to move to the top of the European list, Hassan smashed her near four-year-old national record as she finished second to Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba in one of the fastest races of all-time.

Hassan is a runner of such versatility - a woman who won European 1500m gold in Zurich in 2014 and silver in Amsterdam in 2016 to becoming European 5000m champion in Berlin in 2018. Last September she smashed the European half marathon record on her first proper attempt at the distance when she won in Copenhagen in 65:15.

Now back on the track, Hassan broke her national record of 3:56.05 as Dibaba just had too much for her on the last lap with the first nine all under 4:01, which the IAAF reported was a record for depth in an international race. 

The race was quick from the start and the field passed through 1000m in 2:36, with Dibaba leading from fellow Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay and Hassan. 

But three became two with 200m left as Hassan looked to have enough in reserve to overtake Dibaba, edging closer on the home turn but the Ethiopian then found an extra gear.

Her time of 3:55.47 was a world lead and a meeting record in a race in which the second to sixth runners all had personal bests. Great Britain’s Eilish McColgan, ninth in 4:00.97 and Sarah McDonald, tenth in 4:01.50, also came away with lifetime bests.

McColgan’s time was particularly notable as she moved ahead of her mother Liz - the 1991 world 10,000m champion - on the British all-time list, eclipsing her mark of 4:01.38.

Hassan has never won an outdoor world gold medal and if she had been planning for the longer distances for the IAAF World Championships in Doha which begin in September, she might think again after this performance.

​Back-to-back Diamond League wins for Shubenkov and Bondarenko

Sergey Shubenkov won the 110m hurdles in a European lead in the most dramatic of finishes in the Moroccan capital. 

Shubenkov sustained some nasty track burns on his right shoulder after colliding with Jamaica’s reigning Olympic and world champion Omar McLeod who was drawn on his inside in lane five.

The Jamaican knocked into Shubenkov in the adjacent as the line approached with the former two-time European champion sent hurtling to the finish. He did so in a time of 13.12 to equal the meeting record and faster than the 13.26 which gave him victory in the Rome Diamond League last week. 

“It was a dramatic race but a really great race,” said Shubenkov. “I am feeling stronger than before and having Omar in the field gave me an extra motivation. The clash with Omar did not affect my time.” 

Bogdan Bondarenko also made it two Diamond League wins out of two, backing up his win in Rome with another triumph in Rabat.

He won here with just four jumps - three of them first time successes at 2.15m, 2.22m and the victory mark of 2.28m - which he secured on countback. He attempted a prospective world lead of 2.33m but packed up his bags with victory assured after just one attempt. 

Bondarenko said: “My target now is the World Championships in Doha and to win the gold medal.”

Daniel Stahl left the arena thinking he had taken his second Diamond League win of the season after a sensational season’s opener in the Doha Diamond League in May when he had three throws in excess of 70 metres.

But after an appeal, the Swede found himself shunted down to second and his Diamond League record of 70.56m dislodged. Stahl initially topped the standings in Rabat with 69.94m before Jamaican Fedrick Dacres’ third round effort of 70.78m was validated.

Elsewhere, there were also European-leading performances for Anzhelika Sidorova who finished second in the pole vault with 4.77m and Ukraine's Olha Lyakhova who was third in the 800m in 2:00.35.