Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Women's 3000 metres steeplechase

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Women's 3000 metres steeplechase
at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad
Left-right: Jepkemoi, Jebet and Coburn
VenueOlympic Stadium
Date13–15 August 2016
Competitors53 from 32 nations
Winning time8:59.75 AR
1st place, gold medalist(s) Ruth Jebet  Bahrain
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi  Kenya
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Emma Coburn  United States
← 2012
2020 →
Video on YouTube Official Video Highlights

The Women's 3000 metres steeplechase competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics took place between 13–15 August at the Olympic Stadium.[1]


Tunisia's Habiba Ghribi returned to defend her 2012 Olympic steeplechase title, though she was outside the top 15 runners on the seasonal lists. The fastest time was held by Ruth Jebet of Bahrain, whose 8:59.97 minutes at the Prefontaine Classic at the end of May made her the second fastest ever in the discipline. The 2015 World Champion Hyvin Jepkemoi of Kenya was four hundredths of a second behind her in that race and had become the third fastest, while America's Emma Coburn had set a national record and was third ranked entering the competition. Ethiopians Etenesh Diro and Sofia Assefa and Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech rounded out the top six. Gesa Felicitas Krause, a 2015 World medalist and 2016 European Champion, was her continent's best entrant.[2]

Before the competition even began, entrant Silvia Danekova failed a doping test after her arrival in Rio. She submitted an appeal the Court of Arbitration for Sport where she was ruled ineligible for the race.[3]

In the first round Jebet broke clear of the pack, ran her own race, and easily won her heat over Assefa and Krause. Chepkoech, Ghribi and Coburn took the top qualifying spots in the second race. Jepkemoi won the third and slowest heat, with Genevieve LaCaze and Courtney Frerichs taking the automatic qualifying spots. Etenesh Diro lost her shoe in that race after being stood on by an opponent and ran the remainder of the race barefoot; she failed to make the qualifying time but progressed upon appeal, as did Aisha Praught and Sara Louise Treacy.[4][5] Four national records were broken, including Lalita Shivaji Babar's 9:19.76 minutes for India.[6]

The strategy in this final was prefaced by the Prefontaine race in Eugene. In that race, Jebet broke away but was chased down by a last lap kick by Jepkemoi that almost caught her at the line. Coburn watched the chase from ten seconds back while setting the American record. Here Jebet knew she needed to create a bigger cushion to discourage Jepkemoi from chasing. After settling for just being near the front of the pack for the first two laps, Jebet accelerated with one barrier and five laps to go. Only three athletes, Jepkemoi, Chepkoech and Coburn, took off in pursuit, the rest of the field stringing out behind an ever-widening gap. After a 68-second lap, then a 69-second lap, Jebet had a 3-second lead on the Kenyan teammates with Coburn another 3 seconds back. After a 70-second lap, Chepkoech began to lose contact with her teammate. An encouraged Coburn set off in pursuit of a medal, passing the slowing Chepkoech with 1 and 3/4 laps to go. During the 71-second following lap, while Jebet was slowing slightly from the strain, Jepkemoi was consistently losing ground and Coburn could see she was close to Jepkemoi. Jepkemoi did not take off in hot pursuit of Jebet, more concerned with the challenge from behind. On the final backstretch, Coburn passed Jepkemoi for a few moments before Jepkemoi accelerated away going into the final water jump. Jebet cruised home unchallenged with a final lap just under 71, crossing the line in 8:59.75. Forgetting about Jebet, Jepkemoi used her best sprinting to beat Coburn to the line by a half second for silver. Coburn set the North American Continental Record 9:07.63 in third. [7]

Jebet's time slightly improved her second best time in history, moving to less than a second of the world record. Coburn's time made her the number 8 performer in history. Even deeper down the list of finishers, there were many personal bests. Fourth place Chepkoech became #22 on the all-time list, sixth place Gesa Felicitas Krause became #31, seventh, eighth and ninth places Madeline Hills, Colleen Quigley and Genevieve LaCaze became #38, #42 and #43 respectively.

The medals were presented by Paul Tergat, IOC member, Kenya and Anna Riccardi, Council Member of the IAAF.

Less than two weeks later, Jebet would set the world record, improving her personal best by almost seven seconds and the world record by six.

Ruth Jebet has been suspended since February 2018 for testing positive for EPO.[8]

Competition format[edit]

The women's 3000 m steeplechase competition consisted of heats and a final.[9]


Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  Gulnara Galkina (RUS) 8:58.81 Beijing, China 17 August 2008
Olympic record

The following national records were established during the competition:

Country Athlete Round Time Notes
India  Lalita Babar (IND) Heats 9:19.76
Switzerland  Fabienne Schlumpf (SUI) Heats 9:30.54
Denmark  Anna Emilie Møller (DEN) Heats 9:32.68
Bahrain  Ruth Jebet (BRN) Final 8:59.75 AR
United States  Emma Coburn (USA) Final 9:07.63 AR


All times are Brasilia Time (UTC-3)

Date Time Round
Saturday, 13 August 2016 10:05 Round 1
Monday, 15 August 2016 11:15 Finals


Round 1[edit]

Qualification rule: First 3 in each heat (Q) and the next 6 fastest (q) advance to the Final.

Heat 1[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Ruth Jebet  Bahrain 9:12.62 Q
2 Sofia Assefa  Ethiopia 9:18.75 Q
3 Gesa Felicitas Krause  Germany 9:19.70 Q
4 Colleen Quigley  United States 9:21.82 q
5 Lydia Rotich  Kenya 9:30.21 q
6 Mariya Shatalova  Ukraine 9:30.89 PB
7 Peruth Chemutai  Uganda 9:31.03 PB
8 Charlotta Fougberg  Sweden 9:31.16
9 Özlem Kaya  Turkey 9:32.03 SB
10 Sviatlana Kudzelich  Belarus 9:32.93 SB
11 Fadwa Sidi Madane  Morocco 9:32.94 SB
12 Diana Martín  Spain 9:44.07
13 Ingeborg Løvnes  Norway 9:44.85
14 Kerry O'Flaherty  Ireland 9:45.35 SB
15 Juliana Paula dos Santos  Brazil 9:45.95
16 Erin Teschuk  Canada 9:53.70
17 Anju Takamizawa  Japan 9:58.59

Heat 2[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Beatrice Chepkoech  Kenya 9:17.55 Q
2 Emma Coburn  United States 9:18.12 Q
3 Habiba Ghribi  Tunisia 9:18.71 Q, SB
4 Lalita Babar  India 9:19.76 q, NR
5 Madeline Hills  Australia 9:24.16 q, SB
6 Fabienne Schlumpf  Switzerland 9:30.54 q, NR
7 Hiwot Ayalew  Ethiopia 9:35.09
8 Matylda Kowal  Poland 9:35.13 PB
9 Sanaa Koubaa  Germany 9:35.15 PB
10 Victoria Mitchell  Australia 9:39.40 SB
11 Michelle Finn  Ireland 9:49.45
12 Tigest Mekonin  Bahrain 9:49.92
13 Maria Bernard  Canada 9:50.17
14 Meryem Akda  Turkey 9:50.28
15 Sandra Eriksson  Finland 9:56.77
16 Luiza Gega  Albania 9:58.49
17 Nastassia Puzakova  Belarus 10:14.08
18 Amina Bettiche  Algeria 10:26.91

Heat 3[edit]

Video on YouTube Official Video Highlights
Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1 Hyvin Jepkemoi  Kenya 9:24.61 Q
2 Genevieve LaCaze  Australia 9:26.25 Q
3 Courtney Frerichs  United States 9:27.02 Q
4 Geneviève Lalonde  Canada 9:30.24 q
5 Zhang Xinyan  China 9:31.47
6 Anna Emilie Møller  Denmark 9:32.68 AJR, NR
7 Etenesh Diro  Ethiopia 9:34.70 q[10]
8 Aisha Praught  Jamaica 9:35.79 q[10]
9 Sudha Singh  India 9:43.29
10 Salima Elouali Alami  Morocco 9:44.83
11 Eliane Saholinirina  Madagascar 9:45.92
12 Sara Louise Treacy  Ireland 9:46.24 q[10]
13 Ancuța Bobocel  Romania 9:46.28
14 Tuğba Güvenç  Turkey 9:49.93 SB
15 Maya Rehberg  Germany 9:51.73
16 Belén Casetta  Argentina 9:51.85
17 Lennie Waite  Great Britain 10:14.18


Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1st place, gold medalist(s) Ruth Jebet  Bahrain 8:59.75 AR
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Hyvin Jepkemoi  Kenya 9:07.12
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Emma Coburn  United States 9:07.63 AR
4 Beatrice Chepkoech  Kenya 9:16.05 PB
5 Sofia Assefa  Ethiopia 9:17.15 SB
6 Gesa Felicitas Krause  Germany 9:18.41 PB
7 Madeline Hills  Australia 9:20.38 PB
8 Colleen Quigley  United States 9:21.10 PB
9 Genevieve LaCaze  Australia 9:21.21 PB
10 Lalita Babar  India 9:22.74
11 Courtney Frerichs  United States 9:22.87
12 Habiba Ghribi  Tunisia 9:28.75
13 Lydia Rotich  Kenya 9:29.90
14 Aisha Praught  Jamaica 9:34.20
15 Etenesh Diro  Ethiopia 9:38.77
16 Geneviève Lalonde  Canada 9:41.88
17 Sara Louise Treacy  Ireland 9:52.70
18 Fabienne Schlumpf  Switzerland 9:59.30


  1. ^ Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics Archived 2016-08-26 at the Wayback Machine. (2016-05-21). Retrieved on 2016-09-05.
  2. ^ Morse, Parker (9 August 2016). Preview: women's 3000m steeplechase – Rio 2016 Olympic Games. IAAF. Retrieved on 13 August 2016.
  3. ^ Rio Olympics 2016: Bulgarian Silvia Danekova fails drugs test. (2016-08-12). Retrieved on 2016-09-05.
  4. ^ Rio Olympics: Etenesh Diro finishes race with one shoe. (2016-08-13). Retrieved on 2016-09-05.
  5. ^ Morse, parker (13 August 2016). Report: women's 3000m steeplechase heats – Rio 2016 Olympic Games. IAAF. Retrieved on 13 August 2016.
  6. ^ Heats 3000 Metres Steeplechase women The XXXI Olympic Games . IAAF. Retrieved on 13 August 2016.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Format Competition – Athletics Archived 2016-08-26 at the Wayback Machine. (2016-05-21). Retrieved on 2016-09-05.
  10. ^ a b c Advanced by judge's decision