Chespol emerges from Eugene Diamond League meeting as world’s top-ranked steeplechaser

Celliphine Chespol's performance at the Prefontaine Classic, held in Eugene, Oregon, moved her into first on the steeplechase '17 world chart, while also improving her own world junior record in the event.

The 2017 IAAF Diamond League circuit’s third stop of the season took place 26 and 27 May in Eugene, Oregon, which once again hosted the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.  

In one of the deepest women’s 3000m steeplechase fields ever assembled, pacer Caroline Tuigong Chepkurui and the threesome of Ruth Jebet, Celliphine Chespol, and Beatrice Chepkoech quickly separated themselves from the rest of the field.  Once on their own, Jebet, Chespol, and Chepkoech maintained a 9:00 pace for the remainder of the race, with each in the lead at one point or another.  With the group still together and approaching the second-to-last water jump, Chespol’s right shoe was stepped on and it partly came off her foot, leading her to stop after the water pit, to put the shoe back on.  Chespol in stunning fashion proceeded to run down Jebet and Chepkoech, to regain the lead coming out of the last water jump. While pressed by Chepkoech down the home stretch, Chespol never relinquished her lead, and she finished in a new ’17 world leading time of 8:58.78, while also improving her own junior world record set earlier this year in Doha (9:05.70).  Chespol also became the all-time no. 2 performer behind Ruth Jebet (8:52.78, ’16 Rio OG).  Following Chepkoech (2nd in 9:00.70), several of Chespol’s Personae-teammates also ran well, including Jebet (3rd in 9:03.52), Purity Kirui (6th in season best 9:20.07), and Gesa Krause (7th in 9:20.32).

Other noteworthy performances by Personae-managed athletes in Eugene and other recent stops on the circuit included Albert Rop (5th in Eugene 5000m in season best 13:04.82 = ’17 world no. 5), Bashir Abdi (14th in Eugene 5000m in season best 13:16.74 = ’17 Europe no. 3), and Nicholas Bett (2nd in Seiko GP Kawasaki 3000m SC in season best 8:21.71 = ’17 world no. 2).


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