We have seen so many upsets at the London 2017 World Championships, but nobody would have anticipated an American 1-2 finish in the women’s 3000m Steeplechase of all events.
In a race where defending champion Hyving Kiyeng Jepkemoi, World Record (WR) holder Ruth Jebet, and World Leader Celliphine Chespol were tipped to dominate, it was Emma Coburn who emerged tops, winning with a Championship Record (CR) of 9:02.58.
It was a tactical race by the Americans who stayed as close as they could to the pre-championships favourites in the early stages. Courtney Frerichs ran a Personal Best (PB) of 9:03.77 to win Silver, while Kiyeng settled for Bronze in 9:04.03.
The East Africans were way behind when they came into the last water pit, and there wasn’t enough time to overhaul Coburn’s lead, as she comfortably took the last barrier and spread both arms in ecstasy as she crossed the line.
“This is incredible. I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me and made it possible for me to be world champion. I just want to find my family and give them a hug. I’m lost for words. This is better than I could ever have imagined” a delighted Coburn said after the race.
For Olympic champion, Jebet, she showed that she might not have been 100 percent fit going into the competition as she looked out of pace in the last 400m. The Kenyan-born Bahrain athlete finished 5th with a time of 9:13.96
Frerichs on her part said: “I would never have believed this could happen. Maybe fifth or sixth, but silver? Wow, I am shocked. This is an absolute dream,”
“I’m so happy to have won alongside Emma. She ran an amazing race to get the championship record. I’m just going to enjoy the moment with her.”
While World Leader, Chespol who this year ran the second fastest time ever in history, finished 6th, crossing the line in 9:15.04.
Kiyeng said she tried her best to catch up with the Americans:”I am very happy to win the bronze medal. The Americans went very fast, as you saw with the championship record. I did all I could to win that race but they were stronger,” the now former champion said.