“After the Olympics, Sevan went through a tough period both physically and mentally, so she is not fully prepared for the FBK Games, in which she will start the 10,000 metres,” Van Langen said.
Hassan may play her first game of the year in the Diamond League in Eugene, USA, on Saturday. “But that, too, is by no means certain,” van Langen says. “She is now in the States, so Eugene is a little easier to get to. But it will take a little longer before we see her again in Hengelo.”
The 29-year-old made an impression at the FBK Games last year by breaking the world record in the 10,000m almost single-handedly. Her record time of 29.06.82 lasted just two days. Letesenbet Gidey slipped by more than 5 seconds in the Ethiopian qualifier, also held at Hengelo’s Athletics Arena (29.01.03).
FBK Games showcases five Olympic champions in athletics
FBK Games is previewing the arrival of this year’s five Olympic champions. Hassan will miss the 41st edition of the competition at Hengelo, but with German long jumper Milaika Mihambo, Canadian sprinter André de Grasse, Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis, Kenyan middle-distance runner Faith Kipyegon and Ugandan hurdler specialist. The Olympic gold Peruth Chemutai is well represented.
With javelin thrower Anderson Peters of Grenada, American hurdler Nia Ali and Ugandan Hamila Nakayi of Uganda for the 800m, three world champions were drawn in. “Because we are part of the Continental Tour Gold, there is a lot of international interest,” says Ellen van Langen, who is putting the field together. “In addition, Dutch athletes participate so well at the international level that it is a gift to make a field of participants with many good athletes.”
For the Duplantis pole vault, the organization has taken out private insurance in case he vaults a world record. The Swede won the World Indoor Championships title this spring with a world record 6.20 metres. “We thought it was safe to do it just to make sure. He usually puts the crossbar a centimeter higher, which in itself makes sense,” said Van Langen, who reports the bonus is €25,000.
Director Hans Kloosterman expects the athletics stadium in Hengelo to be sold at FBK Games. “It will be the first time since our glory days with Haile Gebrselassie. Ticket sales are going better than ever,” said the manager, who also mentioned that matches will be televised in 140 countries on June 6.
Other notables include Dutchman Vimki Paul, who took bronze in the 400-meter hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics, hurdler Nadine Visser, who has recovered from a hamstring injury, and running star Daphne Schippers and hitting racket Jessica Schelder, who won bronze in the race. World Indoor Championships this spring with a Dutch record of 19.48 metres.
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