Hassan and Kejelcha: Training Partners and Mile Record Holders

Sifan Hassan and Yomif Kejelcha (Philippe Fitte / Getty Images )

They were both born in Ethiopia but now live in America. They share the same training group and coach and this year the bond between Sifan Hassan and Yomif Kejelcha has strengthened even more after both have recorded a world mile record. 

While it may be difficult to ascertain whether the latter fact is a global first, what is clear is that Hassan and Kejelcha are two athletes at the top of their game and both will be impossible to ignore at the IAAF World Championships in Doha (Sept 27-Oct 6).

To fully understand their journey to an almost identical juncture we must step back in time.  

Born and raised in Ethiopia before leaving for the Netherlands aged 15, Hassan proved an athletics natural. A winner of the 2014 European and 2016 world indoor 1500m titles she was, however, disappointed with her display at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Placing fifth in the 1500m final and exiting the heats of the 800m she desired a change and her management encouraged the then 23-year-old athlete to relocate to Portland, Oregon as part of the Nike Oregon Project, which she joined in late 2016.

Read more at: IAAF.org