Sifan Hassan decides event schedule for world championships

Sifan Hassan
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Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will contest the 5000m and 10,000m at the world track and field championships that start Friday, her representative said Thursday.

Hassan, 29, dropped the 1500m, which at worlds overlaps with the 10,000m. The 10,000m final is 18 hours after the 1500m heats and six hours before the 1500m semifinals. The 5000m heats are two days after the 1500m final.

Hassan’s first race is the 10,000m final on Saturday at 3:20 p.m. ET.

TRACK WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule | U.S. Roster | Key Events

Her top challenger is Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey, the world record holder at 5000m and 10,000m, who is entered in both races at worlds.

At the last worlds in 2019, Hassan won the 1500m and 10,000m and passed on the 5000m, which overlapped with the 1500m.

Last Friday, she raced for the first time since September, a rust-busting 5000m in Portland. She went at least seven months between training in track spikes after the Olympics, according to NOS.

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Kendall Gretsch wins six gold medals at Para Nordic Ski Worlds

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Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing World Championships in Sweden last week.

Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medal in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.

She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.

Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.

Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.

The U.S. all picked up five medals at last week’s Para Alpine Skiing World Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.

Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.

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World champion skier Kyle Smaine dies in avalanche at age 31

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Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.

Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.

The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.

Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.

“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”