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EUGENE, Oregon (July 13) — Sifan Hassan has revealed that she fell out of love with running after the Olympics last year and found it difficult to find the motivation to return to the track.

The triple Olympic medal winner in Tokyo has made just one appearance in 2022 after opening her season with a 15:13.41 victory over 5000m at the Stumptown Twilight 2022 meet in Portland last weekend.

“I took a lot of rest and found it very difficult to get going again, to get focused,” Hassan told the Dutch media ahead of the world championships this week.

“The Olympics was a highlight. It was really difficult to set new goals thereafter.

“I was running away from running. I had no motivation. But then I began to miss running,” she added.

After 10 months without a competitive race, Hassan, who won two of her three events at the Olympic Games last summer, has been entered in the 1500m, 5000m, and 10,000m at the World Athletics Championship 2022, but the Dutch endurance running icon has dismissed chasing another hat-trick of gold medals in Oregon.

Instead, she noted that she will compete in the 5000m and decide this week on whether to add the 1500m or the 10,000m to her schedule. Read more: Complete World Athletics Championships 2022 schedule and event times

In preparations for the Olympics last year, Hassan said she trained very hard –something she voluntarily decided not to do for this campaign.

After the World Athletics Championships this summer, there are three more major championships on the schedule, including the Olympics again in 2024 in Paris. There are also a pair of world championships in Budapest next year and a site to be decided for 2025.

“It is too much. I am scared that if I trained like I have over the last years I would burn myself out,” the 29-year-old said.

Hassan won two gold medals at the last World Athletics Championships in Doha in 2019 but has tempered her expectations heading into Oregon22.

“You get what you work for. I have trained this time but not as much as previous years,” she said. 

“That means I can’t really expect that I will be at the highest level. But I have no regrets and I’m really pleased with how I’m feeling now.”

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