By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2022 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
EUGENE, Oregon — Norah Jeruto, the Kenyan-born steeplechaser who only changed her allegiance to Kazakhstan last January, dominated tonight’s women’s steeplechase final winning her new nation’s first-ever World Athletics Championships gold medal and setting a new championships record of 8:53.02.
Running from the front, the 26-year-old led for nearly every step of the race and sealed her victory when she emerged first from the final water jump and could not be caught in the homestretch by her main rivals, Ethiopia’s Werkuha Getachew and Mekides Abebe, and Bahrain’s Winfred Yavi.
“The race was not easy,” said an obviously exhausted Jeruto. “I tried to push the pace, but my fellow athletes –like the two Ethiopians and the Bahrain guy– was tough. So I tried to push the pace to be in front.” Read more: Women’s 5000m heats results; Hassan, Gidey, and USA trio advance – World Athletics Championships
“The weather was good here. I enjoyed my race today. At the starting line, I was afraid of my friends from Ethiopia. They are also champions like me so I was scared of them.”
Jeruto took the field of 15 women through the first kilometer in 2:57.8, and that quickly whittled down the lead group to six: Jeruto, Getachew, Abebe, Yavi, 2021 Olympic champion Peruth Chemutai of Uganda, and 2017 world champion Emma Coburn of the USA. Jeruto kept the pace high (5:58.29 through 2000 meters), and it was too fast for both Chemutai and Coburn who would finish 11th and 8th, respectively.
“I thought I was fit enough to cruise through 2-K in six minutes; that’s what I’d done in year’s past,” Coburn told reporters. “I guess I’m just missing that a little bit this year. It’s disappointing.”
The four remaining women seemed evenly matched in the final lap, and actually hurdled the final barrier at the top of the backstretch together. But Jeruto injected some additional pace as she exited the final water jump and had two steps on Getachew and Abebe.
Jeruto was able to open that gap just a little more in the homestretch and Getachew had to settle for silver in a national record 8:54.61. Abebe got bronze in a personal best 8:56.08. Yavi, who appeared to be limping slightly in the final meters, ended up fourth in 9:01.31.
“When I was in final barrier we were together,” Jeruto observed. “But I tried to push the pace in (the last) 100 meters.”
Courtney Frerichs, the 2021 Olympic silver medalist, finished sixth in 9:10.59. She was passed by Albanian veteran Luiza Gega just before the line (Gega broke her own national record, clocking 9:10.04). Frerichs said she was a little short on training, but was proud of her performance.
“A little bit of my slow start to the season caught up with me in the first half,” Frerichs said. “Maybe let them go a little too much given how much I had at the end. I’m proud of the effort.”
3000 METRES STEEPLECHASE WOMEN
20 Jul 2022 19:45
RESULT – OFFICIAL RESULTS
POS BIB COUNTRY ATHLETE MARK
1 890 KAZ Norah JERUTO 8:53.02 CR
2 635 ETH Werkuha GETACHEW 8:54.61 NR
3 627 ETH Mekides ABEBE 8:56.08 PB
4 489 BRN Winfred Mutile YAVI 9:01.31
5 400 ALB Luiza GEGA 9:10.04 NR
6 1164 USA Courtney FRERICHS 9:10.59 SB
7 712 GBR Aimee PRATT 9:15.64 NR
8 1148 USA Emma COBURN 9:16.49
9 1112 TUN Marwa BOUZAYANI 9:20.92
10 671 FRA Alice FINOT 9:21.40
11 1119 UGA Peruth CHEMUTAI 9:21.93
12 1213 USA Courtney WAYMENT 9:22.37
13 901 KEN Celliphine Chepteek CHESPOL 9:27.34
14 1067 SLO Maruša MIŠMAŠ ZRIMŠEK 9:40.78
15 743 GER Gesa Felicitas KRAUSE 9:52.66
Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images for World Athletics