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Athletics Stats: Women’s 3000m Steeplechase winners at the World Championships

The 3000m steeplechase is an athletics event that combines running a race while leaping over barriers and water jumps. It is a long-distance race that needs athletes to be in peak physical condition as well as exhibit high technical skills in order to overcome the obstacles. The steeplechase originated in Ireland in the nineteenth century. In the beginning, it was a horse race in which riders raced from one steeple to the next, leaping over fences, hedges, and streams on their route. The first known steeplechase was staged in County Cork, Ireland, in 1752. The sport developed into a steeplechase race for humans over time. The first recognized competition for humans took place in Oxford, England in 1860.

In 1920, the Olympic Games included the first competition featuring the modern 3000m steeplechase event. It has now become a prominent track and field event, with men and women participating in international championships such as the Olympic Games and the World Athletics Championships. Athletes compete in the 3000m steeplechase over seven and a half laps of the track while clearing 28 hurdles and seven water jumps. The obstacles are set at 91.4 cm for men and 76.2 cm for women, with the water jump consisting of a 3.66-meter-wide pit filled with water.

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The 3000m steeplechase at the World Championships

Since 1983, the men’s 3000 m steeplechase has been an event at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics. However, it was added to the women’s category in 2005. Since 1991, male participants who were born in Kenya have claimed at least one medal in every championship. Kenyan men have won a total of 31 medals, including 13 gold, 12 silver, and 6 bronze in the World Athletics Championships. 

In the women’s division, Kenya has collected 3 gold, 2 silver, and 5 bronze. Kenya’s Milcah Chemos Cheywa is the best athlete for the country, having won one gold and two silvers in the event. The nation has excelled in the women’s division as well, winning a medal in every competition except for the most recent edition in 2022. Although athletes from Kenya were unable to bring home a medal, it was Kenyan-born Kazakhstani athlete Norah Jeruto who claimed the gold medal with a championship record of 8:53.02.

However, the Kazakh athlete Jeruto might just be in trouble as she has been provisionally suspended by the World Athletics, the governing body of the sport. This is owing to the usage of an undisclosed prohibited substance, according to the athlete’s biological passport (ABP) data. If found guilty, Jeruto may receive a ban and her medal might just be stripped. Although it might be shocking news for the Athletics fans, this is not the first time the event has encountered such a scenario.

In the 2009 World Championships, Marta Domínguez, the eventual gold medalist was stripped of her medal due to irregularities in her biological passport. She had previously been accused of dealing with or using performance-enhancing drugs on occasion. The 2011 gold medalist Yuliya Zarudneva’s gold medal was also taken and the silver medalist Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia’s silver was upgraded to gold.

Let’s take a look at all the medalists of the women’s 3000m steeplechase at the World Championships.

Edition (Venue)GoldSilverBronze
World Championships 2005 (Helsinki)Dorcus Inzikuru (Uganda)Yekaterina Volkova (Russia)Jeruto Kiptum (Kenya)
World Championships 2007 (Osaka)Yekaterina Volkova (Russia)Tatyana Petrova (Russia)Eunice Jepkorir (Kenya)
World Championships 2009 (Berlin)Yuliya Zarudneva (Russia)Milcah Chemos Cheywa (Kenya)
World Championships 2011 (Daegu)Habiba Ghribi (Tunisia)Milcah Chemos Cheywa (Kenya)Mercy Wanjiku (Kenya)
World Championships 2013 (Moscow)Milcah Chemos Cheywa (Kenya)Lydiah Chepkurui (Kenya)Sofia Assefa (Ethiopia)
World Championships 2015 (Beijing)Hyvin Jepkemoi (Kenya)Habiba Ghribi (Tunisia)Gesa Felicitas Krause (Germany)
World Championships 2017 (London)Emma Coburn (USA)Courtney Frerichs (USA)Hyvin Jepkemoi (Kenya)
World Championships 2019 (Doha)Beatrice Chepkoech (Kenya)Emma Coburn (USA)Gesa Felicitas Krause (Germany)
World Championships 2022 (Eugene)Norah Jeruto (Kazakhstan)Werkuha Getachew (Ethiopia)Mekides Abebe (Ethiopia)

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