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USA duo stuns steeplechase world

13 August 2017

Emma Coburn pulled away down the stretch for the gold, and fellow American Courtney Frerichs finished just steps behind her for the silver in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase on Friday at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in London.

Coburn, who lives in Boulder, led a stunning one-two sweep for the Americans.

American remain comfortably clear at the top of the medals table with eight golds, eight silver and seven bronze for a total of 23.

The run was historic.

The American duo notched the leading positions off the final curve and Coburn hit the finish line in style in nine minutes, 2.58 seconds, smashing the previous Championships record of 9:06.57 set by Russia's Yekaterina Volkova back in 2007.

These were the fourth and fifth medals for the USA distance runners at the championships in London, including a bronze from Amy Cragg in the marathon, a bronze from Evan Jager in the men's steeplechase and a silver from Jenny Simpson in the 1,500.

Frerichs, a native of Nixa, Mo., finished 1.19 seconds behind, holding off defending champion Hyvin Jepkemoi of Kenya in a sprint to the end.

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Remarkably, the 26-year-old would find herself in contention on the final lap.

"My coach (Jerry Schumacher) had told me to just go for it", Frerichs told NBC after the race. "The whole race I just felt strong and controlled and powerful and waiting and waiting for it to feel bad, and it never did".

"It is pretty wonderful to get a Championship record". She ran an awesome race to get the championship record.

Coburn's sister, who unfortunately wasn't able to attend the race, was just as excited, if not more, as you can see in this video.

"I was expecting a challenge from when I hit the front". The Kenyan went to London as the third fastest in the world. She crossed in 9:03.77, followed by Jepkemoi at 9:04.22.

The two Americans outran two Kenyans to the finish line Friday and ended up 1-2 in the steeplechase at the world championships for the latest improbable triumphs for a stable of US long-distance runners who keep getting stronger.

USA duo stuns steeplechase world