2021 World Athletics Continental Tour: Hengelo

5 Events To Watch At The Hengelo Continental Tour

5 Events To Watch At The Hengelo Continental Tour

Sifan Hassan, Omar McLeod, Laura Muir, Fred Kerly, Mondo Duplantis and Jasmine Camacho-Quinn will all be in action at the Hengelo Continental Tour.

Jun 4, 2021 by Kevin Sully
5 Events To Watch At The Hengelo Continental Tour

The World Athletics Continental Tour moves to Hengelo on Sunday, the latest stop in a busy June schedule. The meet is full of gold medal contenders including Sifan Hassan, Omar McLeod, Laura Muir, Halimah Nakaayi, Fred Kerly, Mondo Duplantis, Yaime Perez and Jasmine Camacho-Quinn. Here are five events to watch on Sunday.  

Watch the Hengelo Continental Tour Live On FloTrack

Women’s 10,000m

Sifan Hassan returns to the site of her European record in the 10,000m, likely with the intent of putting down another fast time. In October of 2020, Hassan ran 29:36 in Hengelo with no competition and poor weather. It was the fourth fastest women’s 10,000m time in history and it fueled ample speculation of how fast she could go in better conditions. 

This season, Hassan has run races at 800m, 3000m and 5000m. Her most recent effort, a 2:01.54 800m in New York, showed that she still has elite speed despite focusing on longer distances.  Like last year, this is shaping up to be a solo effort for Hassan. There are three pacers listed on the start list, but the next fastest woman competing has a personal best of 30:54.

Women’s 800m

This race features eight women with outdoor lifetime bests of 1:58, including 2019 world champion Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda. Nakaayi hasn’t raced in 2021 and will open her season against a deep field of women who have been churning out fast times this spring. 

The British triumvirate Laura Muir, Jemma Reekie and Keely Hodgkinson are running well this year, buoying hopes of multiple British medals in the mid-distance at the Olympics. Muir has made easy work of the competition in her two 1500m races this year and ran 1:58 in two 800m races in May. Reekie ran an outdoor personal best of 1:58.27 en route to a win at Mt. SAC. On Tuesday she won in Samorin, this time in 1:59.60. Her overall personal best still comes from the 2020 indoor season when she ran 1:57.91. Hodgkinson, who turned 19 in March, ran her lifetime best in Ostrava two weeks ago when she ran away with a victory in 1:58.89. 

France’s Renelle Lamote has the best outdoor PB of the group, 1:58.01, and ran 1:58.65 earlier this week in Montreuil.

American fans will have their eyes on Hanna Green. Just two weeks before the U.S. Olympic Trials, Green will be looking for some momentum. She finished fourth in Montreuil in 2:00.96.

Men’s 400m

In an unexpected twist, Fred Kerley currently ranks higher in the 100m than he does in his main event, the 400m. Part of that is due to Kerley’s spectacular 9.91 in Miami, one of a series of 100m races that Kerley used to kick off his season. It’s also the result of having only run one outdoor 400m this year. 

At last week’s Doha Diamond League, Kerley ran 44.60 to finish third to Michael Norman and Anthony Zambrano. Certainly, Kerley’s 100m success shows that he’s in good shape so there should be a drop in time coming in the 400m. On Sunday, he will be a big favorite in Hengelo. Kerley’s 43.64 personal best makes him the only sub 44 man in the field. Matthew Hudson-Smith is the next quickest with a 44.48.

Men’s 400m Hurdles

The bronze medalist from the 2019 World Championships, Abderrahman Samba opened his season against a brutal field in Doha. Despite racing at home, Samba could only manage fourth place against Rai Benjamin, Alison Dos Santos and Kyron McMaster. Save for Karsten Warholm, all of the best men in the world were in this race. 

That won’t be the case on Sunday. Samba, now with a race under his belt, won’t have to contend with any of the men who beat him in Doha. An improvement from 48.26 seems likely, but also necessary if he’s going to keep up with the other men in this event. 

Women’s 100m

On May 23rd, Dina Asher-Smith grabbed a win in the wind and rain of Gateshead against a stacked field in her 100m opener. If the weather cooperates, what type of time can she run in Hengelo? 

Sha’Carri Richardson, Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce have all ran 10.85 this year, with Richardson breaking 10.80 on three occasions. Asher-Smith’s best competition should come from Blessing Okagbare who has run under 11 seconds three time this season and has a lifetime best of 10.79. Two-time gold medalist Dafne Schippers will look to get back into the medal picture after a pair of fourth-place finishes in her first two races.