Sports

Coburn sets women steeplechase championship record at London worlds

Coburn sets women steeplechase championship record at London worlds

In a wild final on Friday night, Chepkoech had to backtrack after missing the water jump, allowing U.S. duo Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs to smash the African domination of the women's 3000m race. With two laps to the tape, she led three Kenyans but it was the two Americans who had hung back who posed the greatest threat.

Frerichs finished in a personal best of 9:03.77 to complete a brilliant one-two for the U.S. Both times were well under the American national record, set by Coburn at the Olympics past year.

The race had been eventful from the start with Kenyan Beatrice Chepkoech embarrassingly missing the water jump when she was leading.

Defending champion Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi was unable to retain her crown but finished third 9:04.03.

She then turned round and successfully tried again before joining the rest of the pack and gradually eating into a gap that she herself had created. She took the lead for good at the final water jump and kicked for home to claim the gold.

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"My coach (Jerry Schumacher) had told me to just go for it", Frerichs told NBC after the race.

There was no doubt that Coburn was a potential medal contender heading into the final, though both her and Frerichs remained calm and composed throughout to secure a surprising American 1-2 in London.

The 26-year-old could scarcely believe it as she crossed the line before she enjoyed an emotional embrace with silver medallist Frerichs, who had edged clear of Jepkemoi. "The whole race I just felt strong and controlled and powerful and waiting and waiting for it to feel bad, and it never did". I didn't expect a medal at halfway. They had a good race. "I just expected the others to finish quickly, so I just kept pushing to make sure I got that gold that I wanted so much". She covered 3,000 meters in a time of 9:02:58 in London at the IAAF World Championships.

Miller-Uibo was well on course to add the world title to the Olympic crown she earned at Rio 2016 before an extraordinary breakdown just 20m from the line, where she stumbled after losing concentration, dashed her hopes of victory. She ran an incredible race to get the championship record.

Frerichs took the silver medal in 9:03.77, which is also a personal best for the 24-year-old. Kenya's Conseslus Kipruto won gold.


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