Athletics Weekly - - Statistics - WORDS: STEVE SMYTHE PIC­TURES: MARK SHEAR­MAN

THE 3000m steeple­chase was first run in the Olympics in

1920 and Kenya is the most suc­cess­ful na­tion with 11 golds while Fin­land has taken four. Kenya has also won 12 men’s golds in the world cham­pi­onships.


WHEN Ezekiel Kemboi fin­ished sev­enth in the 2008 Olympics, it looked as if he was com­ing to the end of a good ca­reer but not a great one. He had won the 2004 Olympics but had fin­ished se­cond in three suc­ces­sive world fi­nals in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

But in 2009 Kemboi re­turned to win­ning ways with an 8:00.43 vic­tory in the 2009 World Cham­pi­onships at Berlin. He re­tained his ti­tle in Daegu in 2011, with such ease he drifted out to fin­ish in lane seven as he pumped his fists in cel­e­bra­tion.

He then re­gained his Olympic ti­tle in Lon­don 2012 be­fore win­ning his third world ti­tle in Moscow 2013 and then his fourth in Bei­jing in 2015. The lat­ter was re­mark­ably his sev­enth suc­ces­sive world medal.

In Rio 2016, he was no match for his run­ner-up in the pre­vi­ous two world cham­pi­onships, Cons­es­lus Kipruto, but was third across the line although he was con­tro­ver­sially dis­qual­i­fied for putting a foot in­side the track.

While he has the most global medals (nine) of any steeplechaser, he only lies sixth on time on the all-time lists with a 7:55.76 PB in Monaco in 2011.

THE first women’s Olympic steeple­chase was run as re­cently as 2008 in Bei­jing and the in­au­gu­ral world cham­pi­onships race was in 2005 in Helsinki.


WITH just three Olympic and seven world cham­pi­ons, there is lit­tle his­tory to this event and no one has re­ally dom­i­nated for long in the way ath­letes have in other events and drug ru­mours abound from the not-too dis­tant past and even with the cur­rent crop.

As she is Rus­sian, Gulnara Samitova is cer­tainly not free from sus­pi­cion but the man­ner in which she won the in­au­gu­ral Olympics to be the first to break nine min­utes guar­an­tees her a place in his­tory.

Pos­sess­ing good speed (4:01 1500m, 4:20 mile and 14:33 5000m) her long legs gave her an ad­van­tage over her com­peti­tors in Bei­jing.

She had set world records in 2003 (9:08.33) and 2004 (9:01.59) and went into Bei­jing in 2008 and set a fear­some pace.

She passed 1000m in 2:58.63 and though slow­ing through 2000m in 6:01.20, was able to ac­cel­er­ate on the last lap and break the fa­mous bar­rier with over a se­cond to spare, win­ning gold by eight sec­onds in 8:58.81. She did run in the fol­low­ing year’s world cham­pi­onship, but car­ry­ing an in­jury was only third.

Doha 2019 pre­dic­tion

If she is in the form of 2018, then Beatrice Chep­koech will be a class apart. For­mer world record-holder Ruth Je­bet did not com­pete in 2018 af­ter be­ing named in a drugs in­ves­ti­ga­tion and is un­likely to com­pete in Doha.

Based on 2018 form, Hyvin Jep­ke­moi and No­rah Tanui are the Kenyan’s likely team-mates but world ju­nior cham­pion Cel­liphine Ch­es­pol could be a fac­tor if she con­tin­ues to im­prove. De­fend­ing cham­pion Emma Coburn should again be in the medal hunt as should 2017 run­ner-up and team-mate Court­ney Frerichs.

In a slower race, Com­mon­wealth cham­pion Praugh­tLeer and Eu­ro­pean win­ner Krause could be a fac­tor with their fast fin­ishes.

Win­ning time: 8:55.88 1 Beatrice Chep­koech (KEN); 2 Hyvin Jep­ke­moi (KEN); 3 Emma Coburn (USA); 4 No­rah Tanui (KEN); 5 Court­ney Frerichs (USA); 6 Gesa-Felic­i­tas Krause (GER); 7 Aisha Praught-Leer (JAM); 8 Peruth Che­mu­tai (UGA)

Ezekiel Kemboi: two Olympic gold medals and four worldti­tles in re­cent years

Gulnara Samitova: first wo­man to break nine min­utes for 3000m steeple­chase

Aisha Praugh­tLeer: cur­rent Com­mon­wealth gold medal­list

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.