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Genevieve Lalonde has race of her life, breaks Canadian record in 3000m steeplechase final

In one of the greatest upsets in track history, Americans Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs take gold and silver over the greatest field ever assembled

Racing in what was dubbed the most talent-stacked start list in women’s steeplechase history, Canada’s Genevieve Lalonde did her part to deliver. 

The New Brunswick athlete lowered her own national record to 9:29.99 in a wild and thrilling race. She ended up in 13th place.

The final featured some of the fastest women’s steeplchasers in history, including the world record holder and Olympic champion Ruth Jebet. The Bahraini (but Kenyan-born) athlete separated the field after a strange moment when Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech ran off course, missing the water jump. Somehow, Chepkoech was able to rally, and eventually finished fourth.


Americans Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs loomed in the lead pack until the home stretch, pulling away from the stunned field of top East African athletes. Kenyan born athletes have dominated steeplechase for years. Coburn obliterated any chance of a Kenyan victory with her sprint to the finish, not only upsetting the field but doing so in dominant fashion.

Jebet, who was the favourite entering the race, faded to fifth in the final stretch. Jyvin Jepkemoi of Kenya managed to hang on for the bronze medal.

Coburn and Frerichs both seemed in shock with the outcome, embracing each other and then collapsing onto the track, arm-in-arm. Coburn set the meet record and lowered her own national record by nearly five seconds in the race, and Frerichs ran a 17 second personal best.

1 4324 Emma COBURN USAUSA 9:02.58 CR
2 4333 Courtney FRERICHS USAUSA 9:03.77 PB
3 4079 Hyvin Kiyeng JEPKEMOI KENKEN 9:04.03
4 4075 Beatrice CHEPKOECH KENKEN 9:10.45
5 3705 Ruth JEBET BRNBRN 9:13.96
6 4077 Celliphine Chepteek CHESPOL KENKEN 9:15.04 WU20R
7 3843 Etenesh DIRO ETHETH 9:22.46
8 3710 Winfred Mutile YAVI BRNBRN 9:22.67 PB
9 3942 Gesa Felicitas KRAUSE GERGER 9:23.87
10 4083 Purity Cherotich KIRUI KENKEN 9:25.62
11 3611 Belén CASETTA ARGARG 9:25.99 AR
12 3624 Genevieve LACAZE AUSAUS 9:26.25 SB
13 3729 Geneviève LALONDE CANCAN 9:29.99 NR
  3844 Birtukan FENTE ETHETH DNS