It has been two weeks since the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games kicked off in Japan, with most athletics track races already concluded and various athletes from Africa having managed a podium finish.
Ethiopia has collected three medals competing in the men’s 10k race and winning gold, silver in the 3000 steeplechase, and the bronze medal in the 5000m women’s race.
Now, the world is awaiting the women’s 10,000m final, scheduled to be held today, August 7, 2021. Two of the world’s best long-distance runners, Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, are set to feature in the final.
Both athletes have had a great year and managed to break the 10k world record in the space of two days of each other. Sifan broke Almaz Ayana’s record (at the Rio Olympics) by more than 10 seconds at 29:06.82 in her home turf in Hengelo.
However, two days later, Ethiopian Letesnebet smashed the record clocking in 29:01.03 in the Ethiopian trials at Hengelo.
Letesenbet, 23, is experienced in long-distance running, even though it would be her first time participating in the Olympics.
In 2020, at the Diamond League in Monaco on August 14, 2020, Letesenbet finished the 5000m in a time of 14:26.57. She has already expressed her wish to break her record, clocking below 29 minutes.
Meanwhile, in 2019 Letesenbet took the silver medal in the 10k race at the World Championships in Doha with a time of 30:21.23. Sifan won the 5k there in a time 14:26.26, a new Dutch record.
Sifan has already garnered the world’s attention after she requested to feature in the 1500m, 5000m, and 10,000m distances. She has won her first gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics winning the women’s 5000m final.
Sifan, born in Ethiopia, left the country as a refugee and arrived in the Netherlands in 2008 at the age of fifteen.