Steeplechase at the Olympics

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3000 metres steeplechase
at the Olympic Games
Womens 3000m Steeplechasers Take the Hurdle.jpg
The 2012 Olympic women's 3000 m steeplechase heats
Overview
Sport Athletics
Gender Men and women
Years held Men: 19202016
Women: 20082016
Olympic record
Men 8:03.28 Conseslus Kipruto (2016)
Women 8:58.81 Gulnara Galkina (2008)
Reigning champion
Men  Conseslus Kipruto (KEN)
Women  Ruth Jebet (BRN)

The steeplechase at the Summer Olympics has been held over several distances and is the longest track event with obstacles held at the multi-sport event. The men's 3000 metres steeplechase has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since 1920. The women's event is the most recent addition to the programme, having been added at the 2008 Olympics. It is the most prestigious steeplechase track race at elite level.

The Olympic records for the event are 8:03.28 minutes for men, set by Conseslus Kipruto in 2016, and 8:58.81 minutes for women, set by Gulnara Galkina in 2008. The IAAF officially recognises men's steeplechase world records after 1954, but unofficial world records were set in 1928, 1936 and 1952.[1] Anders Gärderud's time of 8:08.2 minutes from 1976 remains the only ratified men's steeplechase world record at the Olympics.[2] Galkina's time was also a world record.

Only two athletes have won multiple Olympic steeplechase titles Volmari Iso-Hollo (1932 and 1936) and Ezekiel Kemboi (2004 and 2012). Competitors in the steeplechase are normally event-specialists, although former champions Iso-Hollo, Ville Ritola and Kipchoge Keino all won Olympic medals in other distance running events.

In spite of not reaching the podium until 1968, Kenya is the most successful nation in the steeplechase. It has won every men's title since 1968, with the exceptions of 1976 and 1980, which Kenya boycotted. It had medals sweeps in 1992 and 2004. Finland is the next most successful nation with four gold medals. Finland in 1928 and Sweden in 1948 also have had medal sweeps. Kenya is also the most successful nation in the developing women's event, winning three of the 9 medals awarded since women started running the event in the Olympics, plus Kenyan born and still resident, 2016 champion Ruth Jebet switched allegiance to Bahrain for financial reasons.

Format[edit]

The steeplechase made its first Olympic appearance at the 1900 Summer Olympics, which had men's races over two distances: one of 2500 metres and another of 4000 metres.[3][4] The 1900 Games also held two further races over the 2500 m distance, with one for professionals only and one with a special handicap system – these are no longer considered official Olympic events.[5][6] In 1904 an unusual 2590 m distance was used and this was extended to 3200 m at the 1908 edition.[7][8]

By 1920, the event was standardised at 3000 metres with 28 barriers and 7 water jumps, the format in which it remains to this day. In 2008 the women's event was added to the programme, also over 3000 metres.[9]

The men's 3000 metres steeplechase in 1932 was actually 3460 metres, due to an error in lap counting. The bell to announce the final lap failed to ring at the correct time, and so the athletes ran an extra lap of the track.[10]

Disqualifications[edit]

Runners in the steeplechase are required to vault over all barriers and water jumps, and failure to do so results in disqualification. The first such disqualification at the Olympics occurred in 1908 when British athlete Thomas Downing was disqualified for incorrectly passing around the first water jump.[11][12]

As in other track events, runners are not permitted to cut inside the inner track limits as this would shorten the race distance, and any athletes who do so are disqualified. The most notable occasion of this took place at the men's 2016 event, when 2-time Olympic gold medallist Ezekiel Kemboi was disqualified for this infringement after finishing third. This promoted French athlete Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad into third place, and thus made Mekhissi-Benabbad the first athlete to win three Olympic medals in the steeplechase, instead of Kemboi.[13]

Doping[edit]

All athletes who participate in Olympic events must adhere to the World Anti-Doping Code. Since the women's event began in 2008, there have been multiple incidents of doping violations leading to retroactive disqualification.

In 2016, doping samples from the 2008 games were found and re-tested. Third place finisher Yekaterina Volkova's sample was found to contain traces of prohibited substances and she was disqualified,[14] promoting fellow Russian Tatyana Petrova into the bronze medal position.

First place finisher in the 2012 women's steeplechase, Yuliya Zaripova, was found in 2016 to have taken banned substances and her results in athletic events from 20 July 2011 to 25 July 2013 were erased.[15] This promoted Tunisian Habiba Ghribi to first place, and IOC Vice-President Nawal El Moutawakel awarded her with an Olympic gold medal in a special ceremony on 4 June 2016.[16] Spanish athlete Marta Domínguez was also found to be guilty of doping violations, and was disqualified from her 12th place finish at the same event.[17]

Medal summary[edit]

Men[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1920 Antwerp
details
Percy Hodge
 Great Britain
Patrick Flynn
 United States
Ernesto Ambrosini
 Italy
1924 Paris
details
Ville Ritola
 Finland
Elias Katz
 Finland
Paul Bontemps
 France
1928 Amsterdam
details
Toivo Loukola
 Finland
Paavo Nurmi
 Finland
Ove Andersen
 Finland
1932 Los Angeles
details
Volmari Iso-Hollo
 Finland
Thomas Evenson
 Great Britain
Joe McCluskey
 United States
1936 Berlin
details
Volmari Iso-Hollo
 Finland
Kalle Tuominen
 Finland
Alfred Dompert
 Germany
1948 London
details
Tore Sjöstrand
 Sweden
Erik Elmsäter
 Sweden
Göte Hagström
 Sweden
1952 Helsinki
details
Horace Ashenfelter
 United States
Vladimir Kazantsev
 Soviet Union
John Disley
 Great Britain
1956 Melbourne
details
Chris Brasher
 Great Britain
Sándor Rozsnyói
 Hungary
Ernst Larsen
 Norway
1960 Rome
details
Zdzisław Krzyszkowiak
 Poland
Nikolay Sokolov
 Soviet Union
Semyon Rzhishchin
 Soviet Union
1964 Tokyo
details
Gaston Roelants
 Belgium
Maurice Herriott
 Great Britain
Ivan Belyayev
 Soviet Union
1968 Mexico City
details
Amos Biwott
 Kenya
Benjamin Kogo
 Kenya
George Young
 United States
1972 Munich
details
Kipchoge Keino
 Kenya
Ben Jipcho
 Kenya
Tapio Kantanen
 Finland
1976 Montreal
details
Anders Gärderud
 Sweden
Bronisław Malinowski
 Poland
Frank Baumgartl
 East Germany
1980 Moscow
details
Bronisław Malinowski
 Poland
Filbert Bayi
 Tanzania
Eshetu Tura
 Ethiopia
1984 Los Angeles
details
Julius Korir
 Kenya
Joseph Mahmoud
 France
Brian Diemer
 United States
1988 Seoul
details
Julius Kariuki
 Kenya
Peter Koech
 Kenya
Mark Rowland
 Great Britain
1992 Barcelona
details
Matthew Birir
 Kenya
Patrick Sang
 Kenya
William Mutwol
 Kenya
1996 Atlanta
details
Joseph Keter
 Kenya
Moses Kiptanui
 Kenya
Alessandro Lambruschini
 Italy
2000 Sydney
details
Reuben Kosgei
 Kenya
Wilson Boit Kipketer
 Kenya
Ali Ezzine
 Morocco
2004 Athens
details
Ezekiel Kemboi
 Kenya
Brimin Kipruto
 Kenya
Paul Kipsiele Koech
 Kenya
2008 Beijing
details
Brimin Kipruto
 Kenya
Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad
 France
Richard Kipkemboi Mateelong
 Kenya
2012 London
details
Ezekiel Kemboi
 Kenya
Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad
 France
Abel Mutai
 Kenya
2016 Rio de Janeiro
details
Conseslus Kipruto
 Kenya
Evan Jager
 United States
Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad
 France

Multiple medalists[edit]

Rank Athlete Nation Olympics Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Ezekiel Kemboi  Kenya (KEN) 2004–2012 2 0 0 2
2 Volmari Iso-Hollo  Finland (FIN) 1932–1936 2 0 0 2
3 Bronisław Malinowski  Poland (POL) 1976–1980 1 1 0 2
3 Brimin Kipruto  Kenya (KEN) 2004–2008 1 1 0 2
5 Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad  France (FRA) 2008–2016 0 2 1 3

Medals by country[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Kenya (KEN) 11 7 4 22
2  Finland (FIN) 4 3 2 9
3  Great Britain (GBR) 2 2 2 6
4  Sweden (SWE) 2 1 1 4
5  Poland (POL) 2 1 0 3
6  United States (USA) 1 1 3 5
7  Belgium (BEL) 1 0 0 1
8  France (FRA) 0 3 1 4
9  Soviet Union (URS) 0 2 2 4
10=  Hungary (HUN) 0 1 0 1
10=  Tanzania (TAN) 0 1 0 1
12  Italy (ITA) 0 0 2 2
13=  East Germany (GDR) 0 0 1 1
13=  Ethiopia (ETH) 0 0 1 1
13=  Germany (GER) 0 0 1 1
13=  Morocco (MAR) 0 0 1 1
13=  Norway (NOR) 0 0 1 1

Women[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
2008 Beijing
details
Gulnara Samitova-Galkina
 Russia
Eunice Jepkorir
 Kenya
Yekaterina Volkova
 Russia
2012 London[18][19]
details
Habiba Ghribi
 Tunisia
Sofia Assefa
 Ethiopia
Milcah Chemos Cheywa
 Kenya
2016 Rio de Janeiro
details
Ruth Jebet
 Bahrain
Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi
 Kenya
Emma Coburn
 United States

Medalists by country[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Russia (RUS) 1 0 1 2
2=  Tunisia (TUN) 1 0 0 1
2=  Bahrain (BRN) 1 0 0 1
4  Kenya (KEN) 0 2 1 3
5  Ethiopia (ETH) 0 1 0 1
6  United States (USA) 0 0 1 1

Other distances[edit]

2500 metres[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1900 Paris
details
 George Orton (CAN)  Sidney Robinson (GBR)  Jacques Chastanié (FRA)

2590 metres[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1904 St. Louis
details
 James Lightbody (USA)  John Daly (GBR)  Arthur Newton (USA)

3200 metres[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1908 London
details
 Arthur Russell (GBR)  Archie Robertson (GBR)  John Eisele (USA)

4000 metres[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1900 Paris
details
 John Rimmer (GBR)  Charles Bennett (GBR)  Sidney Robinson (GBR)

References[edit]

Participation and athlete data
Olympic record progressions
Specific
  1. ^ Men, 3000 m Steeplechase > World Records Progression. Brinkster. Retrieved on 2014-06-28.
  2. ^ "12th IAAF World Championships In Athletics: IAAF Statistics Handbook. Berlin 2009" (PDF). Monte Carlo: IAAF Media & Public Relations Department. 2009. pp. Pages 546, 554. Archived from the original (pdf) on June 29, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2009.
  3. ^ Athletics at the 1900 Paris Summer Games: Men's 2,500 metres Steeplechase. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-09.
  4. ^ Athletics at the 1900 Paris Summer Games: Men's 4,000 metres Steeplechase. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-09.
  5. ^ Athletics at the 1900 Paris Summer Games: Men's 2,500 metre steeplechase, Handicap. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-09.
  6. ^ Athletics at the 1900 Paris Summer Games: Men's 2,500 metre steeplechase, Professionals. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-09.
  7. ^ Athletics at the 1904 St. Louis Summer Games: Men's 2,590 metres Steeplechase. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-09.
  8. ^ Athletics at the 1908 London Summer Games: Men's 3,200 metres Steeplechase. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-09.
  9. ^ "3000 metres steeplechase". IAAF. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  10. ^ Lynch, Steven. "What was unusual about the 3000-metre steeplechase final at the 1932 Olympics?". www.espn.co.uk. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  11. ^ "Thomas Downing". Sports Reference. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  12. ^ Cook, Theodore Andrea (1908). "The Fourth Olympiad, Being the Official Report" (PDF). Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Kemboi disqualified from Steeplechase, Mekhissi takes bronze". Daily Mail. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  14. ^ "9 athletes including 6 medallists caught for Beijing doping". Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  15. ^ "The decisions of the Lausanne (Switzerland) Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding the Russian Athletes". Rusada. 24 March 2016. Archived from the original on 25 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Ghribi receives Olympic and world gold medals". Daily Mail. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  17. ^ "World champion steeplechaser Marta Dominguez banned for doping". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  18. ^ The gold medal was originally awarded to Yuliya Zaripova, but was stripped from her in 2016 due to doping violations.
  19. ^ "The decisions of the Lausanne (Switzerland) Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding the Russian medalists". rusada.ru. 24 March 2016. Archived from the original on 9 February 2017.

External links[edit]