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Dutch runner Sifan Hassan fell on the final lap of the women’s 1500-metre second heat, and just like that, the 2019 world champion’s hopes and dreams of Olympic glory were dashed.
Or so everyone thought.
Despite falling to 11th place with 300 metres to go after Kenya’s Edinah Jebitok slipped and tumbled into her, Hassan picked herself back up and went on a mission to win the heat.
— Paul Almeida (@AzorcanGlobal) August 2, 2021
The 28-year-old's sheer will to win sparked widespread reaction on Twitter:
Flash recap of Sifan Hassan’s last lap: pic.twitter.com/iiQ6CVoKIg
— DUMBFLOTRACK (@DumbFlotrack) August 2, 2021
Falling on the last lap of a 1500 is only a problem if your name isn’t Sifan Hassan
— Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) August 2, 2021
Sifan Hassan is the 🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐. She falls in 10th place gets up and still wins the heat!!!!
— CutTheCheck (@CoachKenny__) August 2, 2021
If determination was a person: Sifan Hassan pic.twitter.com/qeM9FggAtG
— Natoya Goule Braids 🇯🇲 (@SayWordd_Sij) August 2, 2021
Sifan Hassan's final lap splits 👀
last 400m - 61.1 (includes the fall)
last 300m - 43.8
last 200m - 29.6
last 100m - 15.2
— FloTrack (@FloTrack) August 2, 2021
As impressive as it was, expending that kind of effort to come all the way back and finish first could come back to bite her.
Hassan became the first athlete to enter the “triple” at an Olympics: the 1500-metre, 5000-metre, and 10,000-metre. She needs to preserve every ounce of energy she can to succeed in each event — a total of 24,500 metres ran if she reaches the final in all three.
All she needed to do to reach the following 1500-metre round was finish sixth, but she turned on the afterburners and could pay for it in the 5000-metre final taking place Monday morning — not to mention the 1500-metre semifinal on Wednesday, the 1500-metre final on Friday and the 10,000-metre final on Saturday.
Hassan pulled off the unthinkable once, and she’ll have to do it again.
The four-time world championship medallist was born in Adama, Ethiopia but fled to the Netherlands as a refugee when she was 15 years old and became a Dutch citizen in 2013.
Canadian sisters Gabriela Debues-Stafford and Lucia Stafford also advanced to the 1500-metre semifinals.
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