Sifan the Superwoman aims for history!
Peak Determination! Ethiopian-Dutch Superwoman Sifan Hassan’s historic treble attempt was almost derailed in the first heat of the 1500m when she disastrously fell over with a lap to go, lost 30 metres & improbably clawed back the deficit to win the heat. Many runners would have ended their race, with Sifan harbouring similar doubts, but she found something: “I told myself -OK life doesn’t always go the way that you want.”
“And then I said ‘No.’ I didn’t want to regret it later. I don’t want all the excuses.”
To overcome the odds and keep her aspirations alive, her determination got her up and running and somehow willed her home.
Sifan is no stranger to adversity. She was born and raised in Ethiopia, and at 15 her mother put her on a plane to the Netherlands to seek political asylum. A year later she was granted refugee resident status and has developed extraordinary resilience in her rise to the top.
From her Tokyo treble dream almost being crushed in the morning, 11 hours later in the evening she won gold in the 5000m and said in disbelief: “I am an Olympic champion. How did that happen? I cannot believe it, especially after what happened this morning,”
The 500m gold medal was first piece of her goal to win an unprecedented triple gold in the 1500/5000/10,000m races, the most ambitious Olympic treble since Emil Zatopek won gold in the 5000-metre, 10,000-metre and the marathon for Czechoslovakia at the 1952 Helsinki Games.
On Friday night she competes in the final of the 1500m, hoping to add the second piece of her triple crown. And to add a degree of difficulty to her quest, the 10,000m is run the next day.
For Sifan, her attempt to go where no one else has gone before is underpinned by a simple philosophy: “Life is not about the gold, the winner, it’s also about following your heart.”
Image Source: Getty Images