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Sifan Hassan to make World Cross Country Championship debut in Belgrade

Dutch distance running phenom Sifan Hassan will be adding to her already remarkably wide-ranging resume of athletic accomplishments at the end of March, when she makes her world cross country championship debut on March 30 in Belgrade, Serbia.

Hassan boasts astounding versatility in distance running, with remarkable speed on both track and road and an ability to seamlessly transition between various distances. She has excelled in events ranging from the 1,500 metres to the marathon, and had a groundbreaking season in 2023, when she won two major marathons (London and Chicago) in her first two attempts at the distance.

Already the Olympic gold medallist in the 5,000m and 10,000m, Hassan captured world championship medals in Budapest in 2023, in the 1,500m and 5,000m. She was also poised to win the 10,000m, with 100 metres to go,  until she took a spill just 40 metres from the finish.

Hassan’s time of 2:13:44 at the Chicago Marathon broke the course record and is the second-fastest marathon time in the history of the women’s marathon. At the Tokyo Marathon in early March, she finished fourth in 2:18:05, falling short of expectations, but still managing to run faster than her 2023 London Marathon winning time of 2:18:33.

While Hassan has yet to compete at the world championship level in cross-country, she’ll be revisiting the course where she won European Cross Country Championship gold in the U23 event in 2013. She last competed in cross-country in 2015 in Hyères, France, where she took gold in the senior women’s race.

The World Cross Country Championships is a one-day event that features five championship races, a senior men’s and senior women’s 10K, U20 men’s 8K, U20 women’s 6K, and an 8K mixed relay. Canada is sending a team of 29 athletes to the event, including two Olympians and several national champions.



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