Nike Talks World Indoors 2018: Week 3, Day 3 : Sifan Hissan is racing in Birmingham, undecided on which races

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This is the third week, third day of the Nike Talks World Indoors Series. Thanks to Nike Sports Marketing, @runblogrun will provide a Monday-Friday story on a key athlete from US, Great Britain, Europe, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. On the weekends, we will go back in World Indoor history and provide a favorite moment. This sponsorship goes from January1-March 5. We hope you enjoy. And please check out www.nikerunning.com. Remember to support our sponsors. They are supporting the heart of running.

Today, we are writing about European Champion at Euro Indoors, Euro Outdoors, Euro Cross country and two times World Championshiips bronze and one time World Indoor gold, Sifan Hassan, who is focused on the 2018 World Indoors in Birmingham! Sifan and her coach, Alberto Salazar are still deciding on which race to do in Birmingham.

And always remember to check out www.wicbirmingham2018.com!

Hassan_Sifan-NBin17.jpg

Sifan Hassan is one of the finest middle distance runners in the world. She has won two bronze medals in World Outdoors, both at 1,500 meters, a gold over 1,500 meters at the World Indoors, and golds at European cross country, European Indoors and European Outdoors. My favorite race of Sifan's was in July 2014, when she ran a 3:57.02 for 1,500 meters, to defeat Jenny Simpson, who just missed the American record at the Stade de France for the Paris Diamond League.

At the age of 18, Sifan was running for the Dutch club, Eindoven Atletiek, and she won a half marathon in 77:10, and

Sifan Hassan and her family were political refugees from Ethiopia when she was a teenager and emigrated to the Netherlands. Sifan became a citizen of the Netherlands in 2013, and in December of 2013, won the European cross country U23. That's an impressive debut! Sifan also fared well in cross country, as runner ups in 2011 Sylvestercross and Mol Lotto Cross Cup. In 2012, Sifan won botht he Sylvestercross and Mol Lotto Cup as well as a track success over 3000 meters at the Lieden Golden Spiike.

Hassan_SifanFV-EuroXC13.jpgSifan Hassan, European Cross Country 2013, photo by PhotoRun.net

In the summer of 2013, Sifan Hassan really opened the eyes of many with her summer of track racing. Sifan ran 2:00.86 for 800 meters at the KBC Night of Athletics. She then took victories over 1,500 meters at the Golden Spike Meetings and Nijmigen Global Athletics meetings. But, the summer was not over! Sifan Hassan competed in the Diamond League at two of the most important meetings on the circuit. At the Athletissima meeting, in lovely Laussane, Switzterland, Sifan Hassan treated the crowd to a gutty runner up run over 1,500 meters in 4:03.73! The big race of the summer? Sifan Hassan ran 8:32.33 for 3000 meters, in third, for the fourth fastest time in the world!

Sifan Hassan became a Dutch citizen in November 2013, She celebrated her new country with some fantastic races. In December 2013, Sifan Hassan won the 2013 European Cross Country U23, and her Dutch team took third in the European U23!

Aregawi-Simpson-Dibaba-HassanSt-Stockholm14.jpgStockholm 2014, Aregawi, Simpson, Bahta, Hassan, photo by PhotoRun.net

My first real observation of Sifan was in July 2014, at the Paris Diamond League. Sitting in the media area, about halfway down the final straight, I observed Sifan Hassan run a then NR of 3:57.08 to Jenny Simpson's 3:57.22, just off the AR! Sifan Hassan runs fearlessly, with gutty front running, and a big, ferocious kick to put the icing on the cake. By the time the 2014 European Outdoor Champs came, I was ready to see Sifan Hassan role. She was adventurous, doubling at 1,500 meters and 5000 meters. Sifan took home gold in the 1,500 meters and bronze in the 5000 meters.

In 2015, Sifan was poised for greatness. In July 2015, at the Stade Louis II in Monaco, Sifan Hassan defeated all of the finest middle distance runners in the world, except one, Genzebe Dibaba. Dibaba ran an outstanding 3:50.7 for the 1,500 meters, and Sifan, in second, in a PB of 3:56.05. Hassan was inconsolable. She knew she was good, how could this women beat her by six seconds? She was incredulous!

At the World Championships in Beijing, Sifan took the bronze in the 1,500 meters with Faith Kipyegon and Genzebe Dibaba in front of her.

Hassan_SifanFV1-WorInd16.jpgSifan Hassan wins World Indoor 2016, photo by PhotoRun.net

In the winter of 2016, Sifan Hassan won the World Indoor 1,500 meters in Portland. Her summer buildup put her in great position prior to the World Championships. No one could battle Faith Kipyegon who ran 1:57.2 over the last 800 meters and took the lead from Genzebe Dibaba with 200 meters to go. Dibaba held on to silver even while falling apart over the last 100 meters. Jenny Simpson used her patented last 150 meters to get past Sifan Hassan, who had been fighting for the bronze. Hassan finished fifth in the 1,500 meters and was shocked, as Shannon Rowbury, another dangerous kicker, took fourth.

In the late fall, Jos Hermans, the manager of Sifan Hassan, announced that Sifan would be training under Alberto Salazar. Need ing some changes, Sifan Hassan moved to Portland, Oregon to train under Alberto Salazar and Peter Juian at the Nike Oregon Distance Project.

Simpson-HassanLastTurn-RioOlyG16.jpgSifan Hassan, Rio 2016, the final stretch, Simpson and Hassan, photo by PhotoRun.net

By the indoor season of 2017, Sifan Hassan was opening some eyes. She ran well at the New Balance Indoor GP, and then, blasted a WL, PB, NR of 4:19.89 at the Millrose Games on February 11, 2017. I watched her battle Hellen Obiri in Birmingham, Her most impressive race to me on February 17, 2017, where Obiri ran 8:29.71 to Hassan's 8:30.76! Outdoors, at the Pre Classic, Sifan Hissan ran 14:41.17 on May 26 at the Pre Classic.

The London World Championships were amazing. In the 1,500 meters, Sifan almost took the entire race, having the lead with 90 meters to go. Faith Kipyegon went by with 70 meters to go, and Jenny Simpson took Sifan as she collapsed to sixth. Caster Semenaya took the bronze, catching Laura Muir.

Hassan_Sifan-NBin17.jpgSifan Hassan, 2017 NB Indoor GP, photo by PhotoRun.net

Sifan Hassan came back and ran a fine 5000 meters, taking an Olympic bronze. She was finally seen with a smile on her face.

Sifan Hassan will be racing in Birmingham, and there are many questions left to be answered. Will she run just the 1,500 meters, or will she double. Sifan opens her season on February 10 at the New Balance Indoor GP with the 800 meters. Watch how she races prior to Birmingham. After a few races, the decision will be made. One way or another, we will see the fine Dutch athlete in Birmingham!

Hassan_SifanQ1-WC17.jpgSifan Hassan, Photo by PhotoRun.net

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