USA's Emma Coburn, Courtney Frerichs Pull Off Historic Steeplechase Gold, Silver

USA's Emma Coburn, Courtney Frerichs Pull Off Historic Steeplechase Gold, Silver

Emma Coburn became the first athlete to break a record at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships here as she led home an American one-two to emerge victorious in a freakish and dramatic 3,000 metres steeplechase race.

Coburn, who lives in Boulder, led a stunning one-two sweep for the Americans.

The run was historic.

Coburn, whose bronze previous year was the first medal of any color at the Olympics for an American woman in the event, credited an increased emphasis on having support and medical staff on hand at the biggest events, along with training differences.

Coburn broke the American record of 9:07.63 which she set at the Olympics.

Further ahead, Olympic champion and world record holder Ruth Jebet of Bahrain looked in good form, controlling the pace from the front during the middle section of the race.

Rolling on the ground, still gasping for breath, Courtney Frerichs hugged Emma Coburn and shouted into her ear: "Am I dreaming?"

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"The girl that came second, Courtney, I beat her in the Olympic final previous year and layer upon layer she's become a better athlete".

"My coach (Jerry Schumacher) had told me to just go for it", Frerichs told NBC after the race.

"I think we're all motivating each other", Coburn said. "I kept thinking to myself, 'Did this just really happen?"' "It is pretty awesome to get a championship record", she added. She ran an incredible race to get the championship record. I didn't expect a medal at halfway.

American Kimberlyn Duncan finished just behind Stevens in sixth. She covered 3,000 meters in a time of 9:02:58 in London at the IAAF World Championships.

"I've raced those girls for so many years and I've watched them progress".

Jepkemoi (9:04.03s) finished with the bronze and acknowledged that on the day, the Americans were superior.

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

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