What a recovery! Hassan falls, gets up and wins 1,500 heat

Aug 1, 2021, 6:52 AM | Updated: 8:54 pm

TOKYO (AP) — Sifan Hassan’s bid for a distance treble at the Olympics was nearly derailed Monday when the world champion tripped over another runner and fell at the final bell of her 1,500-meter heat.

Amazingly, she ended up winning the race.

Hassan tried, but failed, to hurdle over Kenya’s Edinah Jebitok, who tumbled just in front of her as runners jostled for position at the start of the final lap.

Hassan also went crashing down but rolled, quickly got back to her feet and set about chasing down the pack in an astonishing comeback.

Staring at a shock elimination, the Dutch runner sped past a couple of runners down the back straight, had reached the leading pack by the last bend, and won from Australia’s Jessica Hull and American Elinor Purrier St. Pierre after powering down the home straight.

Hassan finished in 4 minutes, 5.17 seconds to qualify for the semifinals, although she nearly paid dearly for the decision to run at the back of the field in the early stages of the race and wait for the bell to make her move. She was third-from-last at the start of the final lap and just before she fell.

Her recovery kept alive her bid for the treble in Tokyo.

Hassan had already qualified to run in the 5,000-meter final later Monday at the Olympic Stadium, although the energy she expended on that last-lap scramble in the 1,500 heats might catch up with her when she returns in the evening session to try for her first gold of the Games.

Hassan didn’t stop to speak to reporters after the 1,500 race as she rushed away to recover and prepare for the 5,000 final.

Hassan, who was born in Ethiopia but moved to the Netherlands as a refugee, is expected to battle with two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya for the 5,000 gold, while there are three Ethiopians also challenging for a medal.

Hassan won a 1,500-10,000-meter double at the world championships in Doha, Qatar in 2019. She has said she will also run in the 10,000 meters at the Olympics. No athlete has won 1,500-, 5,000- and 10,000-meter golds at the same Olympics.

Hassan’s grueling schedule means she will have to run six races in eight days in the Tokyo heat and humidity, including those two races on Monday and the 1,500 and 10,000 finals on back-to-back days on Friday and Saturday.

___

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Vegas Golden Knights center Jonathan Marchessault (81) scores against Philadelphia Flyers goaltende...
Associated Press

Marchessault’s OT goal lifts Vegas to 2-1 win over Flyers

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jonathan Marchessault scored 3:21 into overtime and the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 on Friday night. After the Flyers controlled much of the action in their offensive zone for the first three minutes of the extra period, Marchessault stole the puck from Kevin Hayes, raced in on a […]
1 day ago
Boston Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton (75) skates with the puck against Arizona Coyotes center Tr...
Associated Press

Coyotes end 19-game losing streak to Bruins with 4-3 win

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Coyotes’ return to the Mullett turned into one big streak-ending party. Lawson Crouse scored his second goal with 13.5 seconds left in the third period and the Coyotes returned home to end a 19-game losing streak to the Boston Bruins with a 4-3 victory Friday night. “They are a […]
1 day ago
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) checks on Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34...
Associated Press

Lopez layup, Mavs FT woes save Bucks after Giannis fouls out

DALLAS (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo fouled out before the Milwaukee Bucks hung on and beat Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. That sixth foul set the stage for how the Bucks made it four consecutive victories. Tim Hardaway Jr. missed all three free throws after getting fouled by the Greek Freak and Dorian Finney-Smith missed […]
1 day ago
Utah Jazz forward Kelly Olynyk, left, and Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert (27) look for a...
Associated Press

D’Angelo Russell powers Timberwolves past Jazz, 118-108

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — D’Angelo Russell scored 20 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, Rudy Gobert had 22 points and 13 rebounds in his return to Utah and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Jazz 118-108 on Friday night. Gobert was traded to Minnesota over the summer. The French center spent his first […]
1 day ago
New Orleans Pelicans head coach Willie Green, second from left, puts his hand on Phoenix Suns guard...
Associated Press

Williamson’s 35 points lift Pelicans past Suns, 128-117

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Zion Williamson apologized for his 360-degree, one-handed slam dunk that angered the Phoenix Suns at the end of a game that the New Orleans Pelicans were already going to win. Still, the crowd-pleasing play symbolized Williamson’s potential to rise above the disappointments of previous seasons and live up to the extraordinary […]
1 day ago
Luuk de Jong of the Netherlands celebrates after scoring a penalty kick during the World Cup quarte...
Associated Press

Dutch eliminated from World Cup in Louis van Gaal’s finale

LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — The Dutch were outnumbered in their quarterfinal match at the World Cup. Argentina had one Lionel Messi and the Netherlands had none. And still, the Oranje came back and forced extra time in a knockout match for the ages by scoring in the 83rd minute and then on a playground-type restart […]
1 day ago
What a recovery! Hassan falls, gets up and wins 1,500 heat