Athletics News

Yavi storms to fast 8:54.29 steeplechase victory

Yavi storms to fast 8:54.29 steeplechase victory

Bahrain athlete beats Beatrice Chepkoech on the final night of the World Champs in Budapest

World record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech set a fast pace with 2:58.90 for the opening kilometre and maintained the sub-nine-minute tempo through 2000m in 5:57.75 and only two athletes could stay in contact with her.

One of these, former Kenyan Winfred Yavi, who has been fourth at the last two World Championships, kicked ahead and a strong last lap gave her a world lead of 8:54.29 which places her fourth all-time.

The 2019 champion Chepkoech got inside nine minutes for the eighth time while under-20 Faith Cherotich held off the chasing group to set a PB but just missed this time barrier.

Alice Finot in fifth (9:06.15) and Marusa Mismas Zrimsek (9:06.37) set respective French and Slovenian records.

“Oh my God, I just found out this is the fourth fastest race in the history,” said the winner. “I am really excited about that. It was a fast race but I did not realise it was that fast. I knew I would have the power on the last lap.

“It was perfect. I have never felt like this before. I worked hard and I am grateful for this amazing achievement. After finishing fourth at the past two world championships, gold medal gives me additional motivation to train hard.”

Chepkoech said: “This silver feels like gold to me. The last few years have been tough due to my injury. Coming back is something special for me. After being out for the last two years it has been so hard.

“Since the 2020 Olympics I have been struggling and I thought I might never come back. But tonight proves I am still strong. I train with Moraa (Mary, the 800m winner), but I couldn’t watch her race. I am so happy for her because it has been so long she has been waiting for this. It is an incredible night for Kenya.”

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