Chespol stuns with second fastest steeplechase time in Eugene

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
May 27, 2021
  • Celliphine Chespol recovered from a late-race mishap to win the women's 3000m steeplechase in a stunning 8:58.78 on Friday.(Photo:IAAF)

On the first evening of action at the IAAF Diamond League in Eugene, many had expected the women’s 3000m steeplechase to prove another demonstration by world record-holder Ruth Jebet, but a new star emerged in the form of Kenya’s Celliphine Chespol.

The 18-year-old came back from near-disaster at the penultimate water jump to win in 8:58.78, the second-fastest run of all time and a world U20 record*.

In the non-IAAF Diamond League event, Chespol moved to the front with 600 metres remaining and appeared poised for victory, but gasps went through the crowd as she stopped suddenly after emerging from the water to fix a loose shoe.

The move cost her the best part of 20 metres, with both Jebet and Kenyan compatriot Beatrice Chepkoech taking an immediate advantage.

However, Chespol recovered it steadily over the following 300 metres, then powered away down the home straight to win in convincing style, taking seven seconds off her world U20 record of 9:05.70.

Chepkoech came through strongly for second in 9:00.70, with Jebet third in 9:03.52.

The women’s 5000m, which was not an IAAF Diamond League discipline, produced a commanding display by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba, who won in 14:25.22 from Kenya’s Lilian Kasait Rengeruk (14:36.80) and Sifan Hassan (14:41.24).

Dibaba had been on the hunt for the world record of 14:11.15, held by her sister Tirunesh, but after passing 3000m in 8:39.21, the wheels slowly began to fall off. Nonetheless, she fought to the finish to clock the second-fastest time in the world this year.