Teenager Jebet storms to women's steeplechase gold
19-year-old Ruth Jebet won the women’s 3,000m steeplechase and came close to breaking the world record in Rio.
The teenager brought Bahrain their first ever Olympic gold medal on 15 August, blowing away the competition. Jebet stormed into the lead after a few laps and set a blistering pace to win in 8:59.75 seconds, shy of the 8:58.81 world record set by Russia's Gulnara Galkina at the 2008 Beijing Games.
"This is the second time that I missed the world record. I admit it was too easy for me but nobody told me about the record. I wanted the gold medal," Jebet said.
Galkina and Kenyan-born Jebet, who was the world junior champion, are the only two women to have run a sub-nine minute time. Kenya's Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi, who won the world title in Beijing last year, was almost 50 metres behind in second place.
“I'm so happy," said Jepkemoi. "The last two laps were really hard. I just tried to stay strong and see if I could catch her.”
American Emma Coburn won United States' first ever medal in the steeplechase as she grabbed bronze and a new national record.
"I feel very honoured to have that part of my story on being the first American to medal in the 3000m steeplechase. The last four or five laps were tough. I just kept on telling myself to keep on chipping away at the gap and once I got my position, all I wanted was to hold it. It wasn't until the last 400 or 600 metres when I realised that I had it and just couldn't lose it,” said Coburn.