Coburn sets women's steeplechase championship record at London worlds

US duo Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs savour their 1-2 finish in the 3000m steeplechase

Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs stunned the World Championships by winning gold and silver in a dramatic women's 3,000 metres steeplechase here Friday, the first Americans to get medals in the event.

Coburn, who lives in Boulder, led a stunning one-two sweep for the Americans. Frerichs entered the world championships with a 9:19.09 personal best and lowered it to 9:03.77 to win her first-ever global championship medal. But Coburn launched herself over the final water jump in a daring move that led to her surging down the final straight to win in a championship record time of 9 minutes 2.58 seconds.

The 26-year-old American broke the Championship record as she clocked 9min 02.58sec in an event which will be remembered for Kenyan runner Beatrice Chepkoech inadvertently missing the first water jump.

They were the fourth and fifth medals for the USA distance runners at the championships in London, including a bronze from Amy Cragg in the marathon, a bronze from Evan Jager in the men's steeplechase and a silver from Jenny Simpson in the 1,500 meters.

"My coach (Jerry Schumacher) had told me to just go for it", Frerichs told NBC after the race. "I kept thinking to myself, 'Did this just really happen?"'

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They had a good race. "It is pretty fantastic to get a championship record", she added. I didn't expect a medal at halfway.

The duo came into the race as the biggest threats to Schippers and so it proved as Ta Lou ran the Dutchwoman close but was forced to settle for an agonising silver yet again in 22.08. We just wanted to show the American women are stepping up over the discipline as well. These marked the first two steeplechase medals for USA women since the event began at the world championships in 2005.

The bronze medal went to Jepkemoi with a clocking of 9:04.03. Just her compatriots Celliphine Chespol and Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi were faster this year.

The two Americans outran two Kenyans to the finish line Friday and ended up 1-2 in the steeplechase at the world championships for the latest improbable triumphs for a stable of USA long-distance runners who keep getting stronger.

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