Hassan rebounds from fall to finish second in Valencia Half Marathon

Sifan Hassan
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Sifan Hassan finished second in the Valencia Half Marathon in 65:54 despite falling heavily in the early stages

Sifan Hassan’s bid to break the world half marathon record of 64:51 in the Valencia Half Marathon came to grief in the early stages when she took a heavy fall in the eighth kilometre but the Dutchwoman picked herself up and was still rewarded with a fast time in her closing race of the 2019 season. 

Hassan was positioned towards the front of the leading elite women’s group when she was tripped from behind, landing heavily on her left knee and hip. Hassan was at least able to resume the race but the world 1500m and 10,000m champion couldn’t regain significant contact with the leading group who were still on world record pace through 15 kilometres.

Still paced by one of her designated pacemakers, Hassan was running in third-place for much of the remainder of the race but the European record-holder picked off Kenya’s Joan Chelimo in the latter stages to finish second in 65:54 behind Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi who set a national record of 65:33.

In the men’s race, Norway’s Sondre Nordstad Moen continued to get faster on his return from injury by finishing eighth in 60:14, the second fastest time of his career thus far. Juan Antonio Perez finished 12th for Spain in a lifetime best of 60:58.

Good European performances in the Frankfurt Marathon 

A month after dropping out of the marathon at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Israel’s European 10,000m champion Lonah Chemtai Salpeter bounced back with a fourth-place finish in the Frankfurt Marathon in 2:23:11. Kenya’s Valary Aiyabei won in a course record of 2:19:10.

Three Europeans finished inside the top-10 in the women’s marathon. Former world U20 1500m champion Stephanie Twell took down Liz McColgan’s venerable Scottish record to finish eighth in 2:26:40 in just her second marathon while Katharina Steinruck (formerly Heinig) finished tenth in her home marathon in a lifetime best of 2:27:26.

There was also a notable Israeli performance in the men’s marathon as Maru Teferi finished fifth in a national record of 2:08:09. Another non-finisher in Doha, Italy’s Daniele Meucci just missed his lifetime best with an eighth-place finish in 2:10:52 and Derek Hawkins - the older brother of Callum - was tenth in a lifetime best of 2:12:49.

Primarily a 50km race walker, Karl Junghannss was the leading German finisher in 27th in a lifetime best of 2:17:54.

Fast times across the distances in Dublin and Leeds

Natasha Cockram ran her way into the history books as she finished fifth in the Dublin Marathon on Sunday. In a race won by Ethiopia’s Motu Gedefa in 2:27:48, Cockram’s time of 2:30:50 broke the Welsh record.

In the men’s race, Ireland's Stephen Scullion produced a fine second in a personal best of 2:12:01 – showing real strength having run at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha just a few weeks ago when he finished 43rd. Victory went to Morocco's Othmane El Goumri in a course record time of 2:08:06.

at the Leeds Abbey Dash 10km, Charlotte Arter moved to fifth on the 2019 European list with a lifetime best of 31:34 ahead of Abbie Donnelly in 32:00. Omar Ahmed won the men’s race in 28:38.

In Switzerland, Simone Troxler celebrated home success as she won the Lausanne Marathon in 2:42:30 on Sunday while Ukraine's Olha Skrypak was the leading European in the Ljubljana Marathon, finishing eighth in a personal best of 2:27:58 as Kenya's Bornes Kitur won in 2:21:26, a course record time. 

In Podgorica in Montenegro, Serbian veteran Olivera Jevtic ran 73:37 to win the half marathon which was staged in conjunction with the Podgorica Marathon.  

Elsewhere, Ivana Renic is celebrating more success this weekend after breaking the Croatian 20km walk national record by taking the national title in 1:34:48 in Zagreb. 

In Balma in France, Germany’s Hagen Pohle, who was 17th in the 20km race walk at the World Championships, showed no ill-effects from that race by winning the 50km walk in 3:57:23.