Emma Coburn First U.S. Woman to Medal in Steeplechase
Emily Polachek / August 15, 2016
Early on Monday morning, American Emma Coburn ran an impressive race in the 3,000m steeplechase at the Rio Olympics, claiming the bronze medal. Not only did the 25-year-old Colorado native earn a medal, but she also lowered her own American record to 9 minutes and 7.63 seconds and became the first American woman ever to medal in the steeplechase since it was added to the women’s Olympic program in 2008.
Although Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet dominated the race, winning gold in 8:59.75, it was a battle for second between Coburn and Kenya’s Hyvin Jepkemoi in the final lap when Coburn made her move to surge ahead into third place. Jepkemoi finished a half-second before Coburn to take silver.
“I’m a little bummed I didn’t have a little more in the last lap to get second, but third in the world is really incredible,” Coburn told NBC after the race. “I’m really happy.”
Coburn, who grew up in Crested Butte, Colo., lives and trains in Boulder, where she was an All-American and NCAA champion for the University of Colorado.