Though suffering from a hip injury, Muslim Olympian Sifan Hassan claimed a rollercoaster victory in London marathon on Sunday, April 23, after sprinting for glory to win the 26.2 miles race.
“She needs to stop,” Britain’s marathon world champion Paula Radcliffe said on BBC TV seeing Hassan limping and pulling to the side of the road to stretch out, The BBC reported.
“Somebody needs to give her some advice to step off and stop trying to run on.”
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Hassan, a former refugee who left Ethiopia for the Netherlands as a 15-year-old, is a two-time Olympic champion who has never run a marathon before.
As a practicing Muslim, she didn’t have the ideal preparations for the marathon as she was observing the fasting month of Ramadan.
Despite the odds, the Dutch Olympian staged a stunning comeback before sprinting for glory.
“It was just amazing. I never thought I would finish a marathon and here I am winning it,” she said.
In addition to the injury, she forgot to collect a drink from the drinks station, veering across the road to collect her bottle.
“I’m born to have drama,” she joked. “I didn’t practice getting a drink. I saw the other athletes go and I thought ‘where are they going?’. So I grabbed a drink.”
As the more than two-hour race came down to a final sprint, Hassan stunned everyone, winning in London against a fearsome field of champions, each experts over 26.2 miles.
She crossed the finish line with arms outstretched in a time of two hours 18 minutes 33 seconds.
“To outkick them is remarkable,” Radcliffe said.
“It’s not just winning it, it’s the way she was out of contention and yet she fought back to beat the Olympic champion, the defending champion.
“She is an inspiration and that is just phenomenal.”
Commentators were also stunned by her performance.
“Sifan Hassan has done something that nobody could ever have expected,” Steve Cram said. “She was struggling, she was grabbing her hip, stopping to stretch it off.
“She can hardly believe it, this might just be the best success of her life.”
The BBC’s Andrew Cotter added: “She just defies convention. She hasn’t run that in a normal way and that’s why it is the greatest marathon win that I have seen, because of the way she did it.
“Two World Championship golds and two Olympic golds on the track, but that is the best win of her life.”
In Tokyo 2020, Dutch Muslim Sifan Hassan won the women’s 5,000m gold to seal the first part of her attempt at an unprecedented Olympic treble.
Hassan won the 10,000 meters for her second gold and third medal of the Tokyo Olympics after winning a bronze in the 1,500 meters.