Sifan Hassan v Letesenbet Gidey: World record breakers spark rivalry for Olympics

Sifan Hassan Letesenbet Gidey

We have already seen the foundations of a rivalry building between two 10,000m world record breakers as we inch closer to the 2020 Olympics.

In the space of just two days, the world record has been smashed as many times by Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands and Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey. 

Hassan set a new 10,000m record on home soil on Sunday as she powered to an emphatic finish time of 29:06.82 in Hengelo. Equipped with the game-changing super spikes, the 28-year-old obliterated the previous world record by more than ten seconds. 

Her success on the track stole the show over the weekend, taking the focus from Team GB's Dina Asher-Smith, who ran a record-equalling 10.92 seconds in the 100m. 

However, Hassan's new world record didn't last long. Gidey bettered the Dutch woman's time during the Ethiopian Trials, finishing five seconds faster with a time of 29:01.03.

The two women will be competing at the Olympics in Japan and the record-breaking tussle they have established between them will make for a thrilling rivalry on the track in Tokyo. Here's what you need to know about both competitors...

Sifan Hassan

Sifan Hassan

Hassan will certainly be one runner to watch this summer. In 2019, the Ethiopian-born Dutch athlete made history by winning gold in the 1,500m and 10,000m events at the World Championships – becoming the first ever runner, male or female, to do so.

Hassan also boasts two bronze medals in the World Championships, won in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Her highest finish at the Olympics came in 2016, when she placed fifth overall in the 1,500m event in Rio.

She has set new world records across a number of events, including the mile run and 5km. 

Letesenbet Gidey

Letesenbet Gidey

The 23-year-old has less experience than her world-record rival, but after bettering Hassan's time in just two days, she could cause some upset at the Games in Tokyo.

Gidey enjoyed a glittering junior career before making the transition to professional. She scooped five gold medals in the World Cross Country Championships – two as an individual and three during the team race across 2015, 2017 and 2019. She went on to win bronze in the 2019 senior race in Aarhus and placed second that same year in the World Championships in Doha.

Gidey also enjoyed success in the 2020 Diamond League, finishing second in the 5,000m event.

The talent in the athletics tournaments have set the bar extremely high for Tokyo – with the competition already this tense, we can only expect bigger sparks to fly this summer.

News Now - Sport News