Boxscore: NAIROBI, Kenya – July 11, 2021 – Some of the big races on the track in the Tokyo Olympics will obviously be the women’s 5,000m and 10,000m involving two of the greatest rivals in the women’s long-distance races – Ethiopian-born Dutch superstar athlete Sifan Hassan and Kenya’s long-distance queen Hellen Obiri.
The rivalry between these two ladies has produced classic races in the women’s long-distance events in recent years leaving athletics pundits with tough questions on who is greater than the other?
The Tokyo Olympics will surely answer this question of who is the ultimate champion of the women’s long-distance races as both women prepare to take on each other this July.
In the head-to-head record, Hassan has the better of the Kenyan leading 14-10 but Obiri has won five times out of their six meetings in the 5,000m.
Hassan and Obiri will be running in both the 5,000m and 10,000m, but Hassan will be going for the treble as she will be also be involved in the 1,500m.
Hellen Obiri, 31, is currently the world 5000m champion, a title he won in London back in 2017 and went ahead to defend it in Doha 2019.
In the 2016 Rio Olympics, she came second behind fellow Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot who grabbed gold while Obiri went home with Silver.
Among many other medals that she has won is the 2019 world cross country championships senior race gold in Aarhus.
She has also been in good form in the recent past by winning multiple IAAF Diamond league races ahead of the Olympics.
Obiri’s strength lies on her pace and endurance.
Sifan Hassan is three years younger than Obiri at 28 years. She was born in Ethiopia before acquiring Netherlands citizenship.
Just like Obiri, the Tokyo Olympics will be her second Olympics outing, having participated in the Rio Olympics in both 1500M where she came 5th and 800M finishing 28th.
Hassan is a true champion and it will take much more from her competitors to stop her march to victory in Tokyo especially in the 10000M. She will simply be the woman to beat in the middle and long-distance races.
She won the world championships gold in the 1500M in Doha 2019 and 10000M gold in the same championships the same year.
She scooped another gold in at the world indoor championships in Portland in 2016 and silver in Birmingham the 3000M back in 2018.
If that’s not enough, Hassan holds the world record over a mile that she won in Monaco which stands at 4:12:33.
Hassan depends more on her finishing kick. Her competitors have found it very difficult to catch up with her at the home stretch when she is at full speed.
However, in Tokyo it will not be easy for her as her greatest rival Obiri is also equal to the task.
In all these races that the two great ladies will face each other in Tokyo the world will be assured of a nail-biting race.