Ruth Jebet Runs 8:52.78 to Shatter Steeplechase World Record

August 27, 2016

Ruth Jebet of Bahrain via Kenya took the women’s 3000m steeplechase into a new stratosphere by running 8:52.78 at the Paris Diamond League meet to obliterate the old world record of 8:58.81 set by Gulnara Galkina when she won the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Jebet put on a sublime display of front running. The rabbits took this one out fast with Caroline Tuigong hitting the first kilometer in 2:56.36. Soon there was no need for a rabbit as Jebet, the Olympic gold medallist in Rio, and Hyvin Kiyeng, the silver medallist from Rio, were ahead of the rabbits and pulling away.

They were chasing history. Soon it was just Jebet racing the clock as roughly a mile into this one Kiyeng began to crack and Jebet was all alone in front. She kept the hammer down and after hitting 2km in 5:54.16, it was clear she was going to get the world record or blow up in spectacular fashion.

The clock was off 8:52.78 was the time! The clock was off: 8:52.78 was the time!

Jebet kept churning around the track, jumping the barriers with her unique and unorthodox style. As she entered the final lap, the only question was how much would she break the record by.

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After Jebet cleared the final hurdle, she could see the clock and knew the world record would be hers. She even let up just before the finish line because there was no need to lean to break the world record; she crushed it by 6.03 seconds.

Kiyeng crossed in 9:01.96 and Emma Coburn in a respectable 9:10.19, as the order of finish was the same as in Rio.

1 13
8:52.78 WR
2 12
3 11
4 10
9:10.86 PB
5 8
9:13.09 SB
6 5
7 4
8 3
9:19.48 PB
9 6
9:20.00 PB
10 9
11 2
12 7
DNF 14

1500m 4:31.00

DNF 15

1000m 3:01.00



Jebet celebrates Jebet celebrates

Quick Take #1: Ruth Jebet Deserved This
She’s clearly the best steeplechaser in the world and wasn’t content to just barely beat the world record. She ran as hard as she could and was justly rewarded.

Calculo on the forums noted this was the first world record by a woman born in Kenya on the track. For more on why Jebet switched to Bahrain click her (quick take #7).

Jebet talked about the record, “Today I’m very happy. I tried many times to beat the world record, and today we decided to push each other to go for a good time. The pacemaker was very strong as she was in the Olympics. I was not expecting such a big difference with the record. I think I finished my season today.”

Quick Take #2: How Much Faster Can the Record Go?
World records for women are usually about 90% as fast of those for men. The women’s steeple is still a new event and if the women’s record is going to get to the 90% level of the men’s then it would be at 8:46. Jebet’s run today, in warm conditions where she ran by herself for 2000m, shows it can be faster.

Quick Take #3: PBs for Garcia and Quigley
Stephanie Garcia became the fourth American under the 9:20 mark, running 9:19.48 for 8th (a four-second pr, and nearly seven-second season’s best) and Colleen Quigley nearly joined the sub-9:20 club running 9:20.00 on the dot (a 1.10-second PR).

Quick Take #4: But If We’re Talking about PRs, that Means We’re Talking about Genevieve LaCaze of Australia

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Here’s what we wrote about LaCaze after the 5000m final in Rio:

“We’ve written this as a quick take three times now in Rio, but it continues to astound: she has run 21 races in 2016 and PR’d in almost two-thirds of them (13). That includes the steeple final and both rounds of the 5,000. Though LaCaze PR train was slowing recently (the big jumps were coming down to a second or two), the fast final two miles tonight got it rolling again as she knocked a full 10 seconds off the 15:20 she ran in the prelims, clocking 15:10.35. Though that was only good for 12th place (third among the Aussies), LaCaze leaves Rio with a ninth-place finish in the steeple and a 12th place in the 5k. Not bad considering she had made zero World or Olympic finals before this year.”

Make that 14 prs in 22 races as she chopped nearly seven seconds off her steeple PR, lowering it to 9:14.28. LaCaze, who ran at Florida in college, had PRs of 9:33 and 16:05 entering the year. Now she’s at 9:14 and 15:10. Update: We must have miscounted somewhere along the way. LaCaze says this was PR #15.

Video of final laps of race:

Screenshots from Race:



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