A new world record has been set for the mile run.
Sifan Hassan, a 26-year-old Ethiopian-Dutch runner, clocked a 4:12.33 mile at the recent Diamond League meet in Monaco. It stands alone as the fastest official mile ever run by a woman:
Hassan’s time bested the previous record of 4:12.56 set by Svetlana Masterkova, a Russian middle distance runner, which had stood since August 1996. “I knew I could run fast, but the first 800 was a bit slow, so after that I wasn’t thinking it would be a world record,” Hassan told Reuters. “When I crossed the line I was so surprised.”
Hassan is known as a slow starter, but she looked well off world record pace through the first half of the race. Thanks to some insane fitness, she covered the final 800 meters several seconds faster than she did the first, stunning the crowd (and apparently herself) in the process.
As you might guess, Hassan has a track record of being really, really fast. She won gold in the 1,500 meters at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships. More recently, she set a women’s road 5K world record with a 14:44, and set a new course record at the Berlin Half Marathon with a 65:45.