THE Diamond League in Zürich suggested that the world’s top two were Ruth Jebet and Beatrice Chepkoech but they finished fourth and fifth in London as Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs pulled off the surprise result of the championships.
Jebet led at the bell but faded on the last lap while Chepkoech’s reason was she lost concentration and did a seven-second detour at the first water jump and later fell over.
Coburn, a consistent performer but never previously looking like a winner, set a five-second PB but Frerichs trumped that with a 15-second one for probably the most incredible silver in London.
Coburn’s win was the first global successful US steeplechase since Horace Ashenfelter at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki.
While USA reached an alltime high, Europe was dismal with one finalist – Gesa Krause – and she was the only one to break 9:35 in qualifying.
Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs: shocked the Africans in the steeplechase