Dutch middle-distance runner Sifan Hassan (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Marrakech, Morocco

Preview: women's 1500m – IAAF Continental Cup, Marrakech 2014

The field features the two fastest women of the year: Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan, the European champion who clocked 3:57.00 to win in Paris, and Kenyan Hellen Obiri, who ran 3:57.05 in Eugene and later won the African title.

Hassan has got the better of Obiri four times in five meetings this season, most recently at Zurich’s Weltklasse, which makes her the favourite.

They however both finished behind USA’s Shannon Rowbury who leads the Americas squad. Rowbury finally cracked the four-minute barrier this season – doing so twice – with a 3:59.49 performance in Paris, but hasn’t won a race in a fairly busy schedule.

Interesting to watch will be 18 year old Ethiopian Dawit Seyaum, Obiri’s Africas team back-up, who won the world junior title, finished second at the continental championships and clocked a national junior record 3:59.53 in this very stadium at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in early June.

Bahrain’s Mimi Belete, who improved her career best to 4:00.08, leads Asia-Pacific’s hopes and could be a factor. Canadian Nicole Sifuentes, who finished second at the 2010 Continental Cup, hasn’t run nearly as fast as the others, but does have a world indoor bronze from earlier this year to her credit.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF