The Dutchwoman is bidding for a historic treble of 1500m, 5,000m and 10,000m.Ethiopian-born Hassan, 28, produced a devastating final-lap sprint to win in 14 minutes 36.79 seconds, but it seems she required a little assistance to carry her over the finish line."Without coffee I would never be Olympic champion," she joked.
"I was so tired. Without coffee I would never be Olympic champion. I needed all the caffeine!"
In one study, well-trained competitive cyclists were told they would receive a zero, low or high dose of caffeine before a time trial (but in reality, all of them were given a placebo – experiments in this field usually involve deception). The athletes who thought they were getting a small dose performed 1.5% better than baseline, while the high dose group showed an increase in power of 3% over a 10km (6.2 mile) race.“Three percent doesn’t sound much,” says Chris Beedie from the School of Psychology at the University of Kent, who was lead author on the study. “But in elite terms, that’s the difference between winning an Olympic medal and not making the top ten. You work very hard to get those three percents.”