AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – London Marathon women’s champion Sifan Hassan may try to emulate Czech great Emil Zatopek by going for gold in the 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon at next year’s Paris Olympics, according to reports on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old Dutch athlete, who won the Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m titles in Tokyo, made a stunning marathon debut in London on Sunday, coming home first in two hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds.
Hassan’s coach, Tim Rowberry, told the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper that she started talking about Zatopek’s feat after Sunday’s race. The Czech won the three distance golds at the Helsinki Games in 1952.
Rowberry said Hassan has been pointing to the fact that no one had won the 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon at an Olympics since Zatopek, suggesting a seed had been planted in her head.
Hassan, who also finished third in the 1,500m in Tokyo, typically keeps her plans close to her chest and only decides things at the last moment.
Asked after her London triumph on Sunday whether she would now be turning her attention exclusively to the marathons, Hassan said: “I can’t do that. I really enjoyed the marathon, I even enjoyed the journey, the leg and stretching things.
“I want to do marathons but I really want to stay on the track also. I love the track, this doesn’t change that.
“I am someone who wants everything and wants to be everywhere.”
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Peter Rutherford)