Double Olympic champion Sifan Hassan dominated a solid field to win the women’s 5000 meters at the 2021 Prefontaine Classic on Friday night but fell short in her bid to break the world record.
The race which took place during the Prefontaine Classic’s Distance Night at Hayward Field in Eugene, was her first competition since winning three medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Competing in front of track and field hopefuls and on a picture-perfect night, the Ethiopian-born Dutch star easily won with a time of 14:27.89, which was comfortable enough for the win, but not fast enough to trouble the world record of 14:06.62 set by Letesenbet Gidey in 2020.
Ethiopian Senbere Teferi finished second with a time of 14:42.25 and her compatriot Fantu Worku came in third place with a time of 14:42.85.
Hassan, who had a demanding schedule at the Tokyo Games, admitted that she was tired.
“The last two laps I knew I wasn’t going to break the world record,” Hassan said.
“I just want to finish strong and run hard. I had a really tough two weeks at the Olympics. All the emotion with the media and the stress.
“I’m in shape but I’m just tired. I’m not fresh.”
Hassan was still cheered on to the finish by the adoring crowd of more than 5,000 on the campus of the University of Oregon.
The 28-year-old seized headlines in Tokyo as she attempted an unprecedented Olympic treble, winning the 10, 000 meters and 5, 000 meters gold medals and captured a bronze medal in the 1,500 meters.
She holds the world record in the mile, won gold medals in the 1 500 and 10 000 at the 2019 World Championships as well.
Hassan broke the 10 000 meters world record in June with a time of 29:06.82, only to see it being improved by five seconds two days later by Ethiopia’s Gidey.
The two-day Diamond League event kicked off at the newly renovated Hayward Field, which weeks earlier hosted the U.S. team trials for the Tokyo Games.