Thursday, March 23, 2023
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London Marathon 2023: Double Olympic champion Sifan Hassan ready to ‘step into the unknown’

Sifan Hassan
Sifan Hassan has won global titles over 1500m, 5,000m and 10,000m on the track

Reigning Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion Sifan Hassan says she is ready to take a “step into the unknown” when she takes on the 2023 London Marathon.

The Dutch athlete, who also won Olympic 1500m bronze in Tokyo, will come up against a trio of world record holders in her marathon debut on 23 April.

But she will still also target a summer track season as she considers her plans for the next Olympics in Paris in 2024.

“I’m a curious person,” said the 30-year-old Hassan.

“I don’t know if I can be great at the marathon or not. Even the distance is so challenging,” she added.

“It’s different. I will dream about [targets] after I even finish the distance [in training].”

Hassan, only the second woman to complete an Olympic distance double, will come up against a world-class field in London which also includes Kenya’s marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei and Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir.

Genzebe Dibaba, owner of the 1500m record, will also line up alongside fellow Ethiopian and 2022 winner Yalemzerf Yehualaw.

The 23-year-old Yehualaw, who set a 10K world record in February 2022, ran the third fastest women’s London Marathon time in history to win in two hours, 17 minutes and 26 seconds last year.

“Before I can make a final decision on which direction to go, I need to test myself over the marathon distance,” said Hassan.

“It will be a step into the unknown in many ways for me but I’m looking forward to it.”

Britain’s Commonwealth Games 10,000m champion Eilish McColgan will make her marathon debut in the 2023 race.

Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele is among four of the five fastest runners in history announced in the London Marathon’s elite men’s field, which will also see British four-time Olympic track champion Mo Farah say an “emotional goodbye” to his home support.

The London Marathon returns to its pre-pandemic spring slot in 2023 for the first time in three years and will be broadcast live on BBC TV, iPlayer and online.

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