On a gloriously sunny Tuesday night training session at the Eindhoven athletics club, young hopefuls are put through their paces, dreaming of emulating their most famous member — double Olympic champion Sifan Hassan.

It was on these tracks more than a decade ago that Hassan, a young asylum-seeker from Ethiopia, embarked on a journey that would lead to history at the Tokyo Olympics and make her a top medal contender in Paris.

"We immediately saw she was a talented athlete. Even a blind horse could see she would be a good runner," said Ad Peeters, president of the Eindhoven Atletiek coaching team.