Women’s Steeple and 5k Prelims: Emma Coburn Exits with Hamstring Injury, Hassan and Kipyegon Duke it Out

BUDAPEST, Hungary — We recap the women’s 5000 and women’s steeplechase heats below. The women’s 800m was held in the morning with Athing Mu running at the 2023 Worlds for the first time and we recap that here.

Women’s 5000: Natosha Rogers & Jessica Hull eliminated, Gidey does not run

One night after facing off in the 1500-meter final, Faith Kipyegon and Sifan Hassan were back on the track. For some reason, they decided to kick it out for the win in heat 2 of the 5,000 prelims – which were moved from the morning to evening session due to heat – even though both would easily advance to Saturday’s final. Hassan, who actually leaned at the line, won the heat in 14:32.29 to Kipyegon’s 14:32.31.

The first heat did not go quite as quickly as 19-year-old Latvian Agata Caune, the Euro U20 3k/5k champ, opened up a 23-second lead at 3k (9:17). Beatrice Chebet and Gudaf Tsegay, the silver and gold medalists from last year, wound up running her down, but Caune would hold on for 3rd in 15:00.48, a three-second improvement on her pb. Americans Elise Cranny and Alicia Monson also advanced from heat 1.

The third American, Natosha Rogers, was not as fortunate, as she ran 15:06.58 for 9th and missed qualifying for the final by one spot (but 23 seconds) in heat #2. Given how quickly the race went, however, it was always going to be tough for Rogers to qualify as the final auto spot went to Mexico’s Laura Galvan in 14:43.94 – 12 seconds faster than her pb. And with no time qualifiers, Rogers had no other way of getting in.

Galvan was one of two women to set a national record in this race as Nozomi Tanaka took 15 seconds off Ririka Hironaka’s Japanese record by running 14:37.98 to finish 6th. Nadia Battocletti almost added a third as she finished 7th in 14:41.78, just .48 off her Italian record set last month in London.

One other notable woman not to advance to the final was Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey – that’s because she didn’t run it. Ethiopia had four entrants to Worlds thanks to Tsegay’s bye and Gidey had the #2 time in the world this year as well as silver in the 10k. But Ethiopia chose instead to run 10k champ Tsegay, 10k bronze medalist Ejgayehu Taye, world U20 champ Medina Eisa (14:16 sb) and Freweyni Hailu (14:23 sb).

Alicia Monson is hoping to finish in the top eight in Saturday’s final

Monson was 5th in the 10,000 final on Friday and said that while she’d love to replicate that in the 5,000, she was realistic about how strong the field is and admitted that top eight would be “wonderful.”

Monson, who has never doubled at a major championship before, said she felt she recovered pretty well from the 10k in Budapest, saying she felt better coming back than she did at USAs last month.

Natosha Rogers did not have the meet she wanted and will now head to the roads in search of an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier

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Rogers was devastated to finish 14th in the 10k on Saturday but was more at peace with her result tonight as she put herself in the mix and just was not good enough.

“Brutal,” Rogers said of her race. “I definitely put myself in it. I’m proud of how I raced, it just…my legs fell off. I can’t be too upset.”

Rogers will now shift her focus to the roads, where she plans to run a half marathon this fall in order to hit the qualifying time for her marathon debut at the Olympic Trials in February. Her Puma Elite training partner Fiona O’Keefe has run 1:07:42 for the half.

Sifan Hassan explains her post-race workout after the 1500 final

As if Hassan hasn’t been busy enough this week (five races down, one to go), she also ran a workout Tuesday night after her bronze in the 1500 final.

Women’s Steeplechase: Favorites advance; Coburn and Gear crash out in the heats

The first round of the women’s steeplechase got underway today in Budapest, and almost all of the top women advanced through to Sunday’s final. Two Americans, Emma Coburn and Krissy Gear, were notable casualties. Coburn, the 2017 world champion and 10-time U.S. steeplechase champion, has not looked her usual self this season and has been battling a hamstring injury since the U.S. championships seven weeks ago. Coburn finished 10th in heat 2 in 9:41.52. Gear was making her World Championships debut as the 2023 U.S. steeplechase champion, and finished in 7th place in heat 3 in 9:30.61. Another casualty was 7th place finisher from last year’s final, Brit Aimee Pratt. Pratt finished 7th in heat 1 in 9:26.37. 

The only other American, Courtney Wayment, looked comfortable in heat 1, advancing by placing 4th in 9:20.60. 

All of the favorites advanced to the final and looked comfortable at the front of their respective heats. World leader Jackline Chepkoech of Kenya won heat 3 in the fastest time of the day (9:16.41). World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya looked easy through heat 1 as well, finishing 2nd in heat 1 only to Winfred Yavi of Bahrain. Heat 2’s top three all looked great and included 19-year-old World U20 champion Faith Cherotich, Ethiopia’s Sembo Almayew who is the second fastest entrant, and defending Olympic champion Peruth Chemutai

Other notable women to advance are 5th place finisher from last year’s final Luiza Gega from Albania, the 5th fastest entrant in this year’s championships Zerfe Wondemagegn. Two women, Germany’s Olivia Gürth (9:24.28) and India’s Parul Chaudhary (9:24.29), both ran PBs to qualify for the final. 

Emma Coburn said her race tonight was “a heartbreaking, soul-crushing experience”

Coburn revealed that she injured her hamstring a couple of weeks before USAs and was in pain when she finished second at that meet behind Krissy Gear. She felt she had made some progress after the meet before it flared up again, causing her to miss more training. Her coach/husband Joe Bosshard suggested Coburn skip Worlds entirely, but she wanted to give it a go after earning her spot.

While Coburn had been able to run easy without pain, she hadn’t hurdled since USAs and as soon as she landed in the first water jump, she felt it become aggravated and knew it was going to be a long night.

Krissy Gear happy to be a US champ

Gear had an off race tonight and wasn’t sure why as she said her training had gone well heading into Worlds. But she made a big breakthrough this year to win USAs and will now shift her sights to 2024 after the 5th Avenue Mile.

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