Coburn breaks American steeplechase record en route to historic Olympic bronze

Coburn breaks American steeplechase record en route to historic Olympic bronze

Provided by USATF

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL -- Emma Coburn (Crested Butte, Colorado) ran the race of her life Monday morning, clinching the first Olympic women’s steeplechase medal in U.S. history and posting Team USA’s fourth women’s American record so far in Rio.

Coburn captures historic bronze medal

Coburn ran her own race from the gun, leading for the first two laps before settling into fourth behind Hyvin Jepkemoi and Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya and Ruth Jebet of Burundi. The foursome broke away from the pack just 1 km into the race and made it a battle for the podium over the final stages. Jebet soon took the lead and made a time trial out of it, practically sprinting over the final laps. Jepkemoi, Chepkoech and Coburn kept things interesting in the hunt for silver and bronze.

Coburn surged over the last 500m to pass Chepkoech for third, and looked as if she was about to eclipse Jepkemoi in the final 200m, but a move from Jepkemoi kept Coburn in the bronze position, giving the two-time Olympian the first Olympic medal in history for the U.S. in the women’s steeplechase in an American record 9:07.63.

Running consistent races in the pack, Colleen Quigley (St. Louis, Missouri) ran a personal best 9:21.10 for eighth, while 2016 NCAA champion Courtney Frerichs (Nixa, Missouri) was 11th in 9:22.87.

Campbell records best U.S. Olympic finish in hammer history

Recording the best finish ever for a U.S. woman in Olympic hammer throw competition, Amber Campbell (Indianapolis, Indiana) placed sixth with her fifth-round throw of 72.74m/238-8, the farthest throw ever in the Games by an American. Campbell was eighth heading into the final three rounds and moved up to fifth after her best throw before dropping one spot. DeAnna Price (Old Monroe, Missouri) was eighth with a best of 70.95m/232-9 in round three. Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland set a new world record in the final Monday, throwing 82.29m/269-11 on her third attempt to win gold.

Three heats, three wins for Team USA in women’s 200m

With a quick-starting Murielle Ahoure of the Cote d’Ivoire pressuring her to her inside in heat eight, 100m silver medalist Tori Bowie (Sandhill, Mississippi) came off the curve in second and was able to speed past Ahoure over the final 100m and win easily in 22.47. Deajah Stevens (Bayside, New York) ran a powerful curve and was never challenged on her way to winning the sixth heat in 22.45, and Jenna Prandini (Clovis, California) made easy work of her heat, winning from lane 1 in 22.62.

Team USA goes 3-for-3 in men’s steeplechase qualifying

For the first time since 1936, three American men will be in the steeplechase final. American record holder Evan Jager (Algonquin, Illinois) was untroubled in heat two, winning in 8:25.86. Jager was content to run in fifth or sixth until the last two laps, moving up and taking the lead with one to go. Pushing off the final water jump, he eased to the finish and claimed his spot in the final.

The fastest of the three heats started with Donn Cabral (Glastonbury, Connecticut) settling into the back of the lead pack. Halfway through the race, Cabral started to move up and he was fifth with two to go. Cabral came off the last turn in third and kept that spot to automatically advance in 8:21.96.

Olympic newcomer Hillary Bor (Colorado Springs, Colorado) acquitted himself very well in his debut, winning the first heat in 8:25.01 over two-time gold medalist Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya. Bor steered through the barriers like a veteran, moving up from mid-pack over the last half of the race and then taking the lead late on the final lap.

Taylor & Claye set up Olympic rematch in triple jump pit

Starting the defense of his 2012 Olympic title the right way, Christian Taylor (Fayetteville, Georgia) qualified for the final with his first jump of 17.24m/56-6.5, far beyond the auto qualifying standard of 16.95m. Reigning Olympic silver medalist Will Claye (Phoenix, Arizona) took all three jumps and his best came in the third round, where he went out to 17.05m/55-11.25 to automatically advance. Chris Benard (Corona, California) had a best of 16.55m/54-3.75 and did not advance.

Clement, Robinson advance to 400m hurdles semifinal

2008 Olympic silver medalist Kerron Clement (La Porte, Texas) was out well in lane two of the first heat of the men’s 400m hurdles and had the lead coming into the final 150m. The two-time World Champion had a difficult final hurdle and ended up third in 49.17, but still easily advanced automatically to the semifinals.

Running fast enough to lose his front bib number before the first hurdle, Byron Robinson (Chesapeake, Virginia) put himself in position to earn an auto qualifying spot coming off the last turn and finished third in 48.98 in the fifth heat.

A stutter at the fifth hurdle interrupted the rhythm of Michael Tinsley (Little Rock, Arkansas), and the 2012 Olympic silver medalist never got back into the groove as he ended up sixth in his heat in 50.18 and did not advance to the semis.

Follow along with all of the action from the Rio Olympic Games by following USATF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #Rio2016. Fans can follow every second of the Rio Olympic Games on the NBC family of networks. All track & field action can be streamed live via the NBC Sports app and the broadcast schedule for tonight is as follows:

MONDAY, AUGUST 15 (all times ET)

8:00 p.m. – Midnight



Gold (2)

Michelle Carter, Women’s SP, 20.63m/67-8.25 AR (8/12)

Jeffrey Henderson, Men’s LJ, 8.38m/27-6 (8/13)

Silver (2)

Tori Bowie, Women’s 100m, 10.83 (8/13)

Justin Gatlin, Men’s 100m, 9.89 (8/14)

Bronze (2)

LaShawn Merritt, Men’s 400m, 43.85 (8/14)

Emma Coburn, Women’s 3000m Steeplechase, 9:07.63 AR (8/15)

Amanda Brooks