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Sifan Hassan, known for her prowess on the track and in the marathon will now add cross-country to her resume, starting with her debut in the 2024 World Cross Country Championships. The meeting is taking place on March 30 in Belgrade, Serbia.

Hassan’s resume

The reigning London and Chicago Marathon champion finished fourth in the Tokyo Marathon on March 3, where she clocked a 2:18:05 finish time. Her personal best is 2:13:44 from the 2023 edition of the Chicago Marathon. It is a European record. She finished fourth in Tokyo because she missed her water bottle at 25K, and ran back to retrieve it.

The 31-year-old former Ethiopian now competes for the Netherlands. For her adopted country, she has earned two Olympic gold and one bronze medal. She has also won two gold, one silver and three bronze medals at the world championships. Additionally, Hassan has also won a medal of each colour at the World Indoor Championships. Her speed has been remarkably consistent from the 800-metre distance (1:56.81) to the 10,000m (29:06.82) on the track and even better on the roads with her three marathon performances. Her half-marathon best is 1:05:15.

Hassan currently holds seven European, one world and three national records.

International meets

The World Cross Country Championships attract many of the world’s best athletes who compete from 800m to the marathon. As it happened, the 2023 edition that took place in Bathurst, Australia provided a dramatic finish. Just as it seemed that Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey had the win in hand, she collapsed just metres before the finish line due to the heat and effort. The race was won by Beatrice Chebet of Kenya.

Belgrade has hosted many regional and international events over the previous decade including the European Cross Country Championships in 2013. The area was also host to two European team championships of the second division, numerous Balkan championships, the European Indoor Championships in 2017 and the World Indoor Championships in 2022. There have been eight international Belgrade Indoor Meetings, the Serbia Marathon and other athletics events.

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