Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Emma Coburn wins gold in steeplechase, sister goes wild watching

Emma Coburn wins gold in steeplechase, sister goes wild watching

Emma Coburn became the first athlete to break a record at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships here as she led home an American one-two to emerge victorious in a freakish and dramatic 3,000 metres steeplechase race.

Coburn finished third in the Olympic final past year though was only an outsider for the title here, with the likes of Jepkemoi and Jebet considered the favorites, though in a dramatic race the American stayed calm to set a new Championship record with a time of 9:02.58.

Frerichs entered the world championships with a 9:19.09 personal best and lowered it to 9:03.77 to win her first-ever global championship medal. Hyvin Kiyeng of Kenya, the 2015 world champion took bronze.

"My coach [Jerry Schumacher] had told me to just go for it", Frerichs said. However, it was all about Coburn and Frerichs; the former put herself as sixth on the all-time list for the event in terms of time, with the latter just one spot behind in seventh.

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 whole race I just felt strong and controlled and powerful and waiting and waiting for it to feel bad, and it never did".

"I'm so happy to have won alongside Emma".

"I was expecting a challenge from when I hit the front". She ran an fantastic race to get the championship record. "I am just so delighted I didn't think I would, all I thought I could do was make the top six", said the 24-year-old. Myself and Emma just worked hard and dealt with whatever tactics the African athletes threw at us.

In doing so, she became the first American, male or female, to cross the finish line first at a worlds event since 1952.

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. "Oh my goodness, what a race to be part of". I tried to react but I could not hang on.

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