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Buffs Alum Coburn Advances To World Championships Final

Jul 16, 2022
Emma Coburn clears a water jump in Saturday's World Championships steeplechase prelim.

EUGENE, Ore. — Colorado alum Emma Coburn earned a berth in the 2022 World Athletics Championships 3,000-meter steeplechase final Saturday when she finished fourth in her preliminary heat at Hayward Field.

While only the top three finishers in each of the heats earned automatic finals berths, Coburn ran a 9:15.19 in the fastest of the three preliminaries, easily placing her in the group of the next six fastest qualifiers.

Overall, Coburn's time was the eighth-best of the day.

The finals will be held Wednesday at 8:45 p.m. (MT). 

Coburn's heat included the world's No. 1 ranked Norah Jeruto of Kazakhstan. Jeruto and Coburn were among a group of three who jumped into the lead pack early, with Jeruto taking command of the lead early and never giving it up.

Coburn ran in third place for the first 1,000 meters and had moved into second with 1,000 meters to go. But over the final 2½ laps, she was passed first by Ethiopia's Werhuka Getachew, then Marwa Bouzayani of Tunisia. Coburn then comfortably settled into fourth place, a spot she held to the end and given the pace of the race, one that was likely going to be good enough to advance her to the finals.

Jeruto won the heat in 9:01.54, far ahead of Getachew (9:11.25) and Bouzayani (a personal best 9:12.14), with Coburn just three seconds behind Bouzayani.

That left Coburn waiting to see how the other two heats played out, and her 9:15.19 ended up being the second-fastest "next six" time of the day.

France's Alice Finot won the second heat in 9:14.34 while Kenya's Celliphine Chepteek Chespol won the third heat in 9:16.78.

Also advancing were USA runners Courtney Wayment (9:14.95) and Courtney Frerichs (9:17.91).

Coburn won the world title in the event in 2017 and a silver medal in 2019. She also claimed an Olympic bronze medal in 2016.

Two other CU alums will compete Sunday.

Gabby Scott, running for Puerto Rico, will run in the first round of the women's 400 meters at noon (MT). Joe Klecker, the U.S. 10,000 champion, will run in the 10,000 finals at 2 p.m. Sunday.