Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands staged a remarkable comeback to win the women’s London Marathon on April 25, 2023. It was her debut marathon race and she won in a time of 2 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds.
Hassan’s stunning victory came after she was dropped from the leading group and left holding her side after the hour mark. She had a hip injury and was fasting due to Ramadan, which made it difficult for her to collect a drink from a water station. However, she recovered to rejoin the leaders with three miles to go and even offered her rival Yalemzerf Yehualaw a swig from her bottle. Hassan burst clear in a sprint finish to win the race, leaving her competitors Alemu Megertu of Ethiopia and Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya in second and third place, respectively.
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“I can’t believe it. I was going to stop at 25km. I had a problem with my hip, which made me stop. But it started to feel a little bit better. And then I missed one of the drink stations! I didn’t practise that part of the race because I have been fasting and so that was quite difficult. But I needed it…I wasn’t thinking about winning or how fast I was going to be and I think that was a good thing for me today,” said Hassan in an interview with the BBC.
Sifan Hassan was born on January 1, 1993, in Adama, Ethiopia. Growing up in Bekoji, a small village known for producing world-class long-distance runners, Hassan’s talent for athletics was recognized early on. She moved to the Netherlands in 2008 to live with her coach and began competing in international track and field competitions. Despite facing challenges, Hassan remained dedicated to her sport, becoming a true inspiration for athletes around the world.
As a middle-distance runner, Hassan gained Dutch citizenship in 2013 and has since won numerous medals at major events, including a historic triple gold at the 2019 World Championships in the 1500m, 5000m, and 10,000m events. Her performance in Doha was particularly impressive, as she won the 1500m final just 150 minutes before the 10,000m final. Hassan has become one of the most dominant long-distance runners in the world, setting several world records along the way.
Hassan’s training regimen is known for its intensity and innovation. She works with renowned coach Alberto Salazar, who has helped her improve her technique and endurance. Her dedication to training and attention to detail have helped her become one of the most successful long-distance runners of her generation.Off the track, Hassan is known for her humble and friendly demeanour. She has said that her family and faith are the most important things in her life, and she often speaks about her gratitude for the opportunities she has had as an athlete.She also advocates for women’s rights. Her positive attitude and commitment to values have made her a beloved figure in the athletic community.
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Sifan Hassan’s debut marathon victory at the London Marathon 2023 showcased her resilience and athletic ability. Hassan continues to inspire millions with this remarkable achievement as it not only resonates with athletes globally but also serves as an inspiration to Muslims worldwide who have spent the month fasting and fulfilling their daily obligations.