Hassan recovered after mingling with Kenyan runner Edinah Jebitok at the start of the last lap. She accelerated outside the field on the back straight and ended up crossing the line first in 4 minutes and 5.17 seconds to advance to the semi-finals.
He kept the Dutch runner’s bid for a rare triplet distance at the Tokyo Games alive.
Hassan qualified for the 5,000-meter final later Monday at the Olympic Stadium, when the energy she spent in that last-lap race in the 1,500 heats could catch up with her.
She is set to fight two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya for the gold in the 5000.
Hassan, who won a double in the 1,500-10,000 meters at the world championships in 2019, says she will also run the 10,000 meters at the Tokyo Games and attempt three medals.
The grueling schedule means she will have to run six races in eight days in the heat and humidity of Tokyo, including the two races on Monday and the 1,500 and 10,000 day finals back-to-back Friday and Saturday.
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