Coburn competed today in the final run in the Women's Steeplechase. I managed to catch it live, and I'll do my best to summarize it (though they cut away to polevaulting and commercials a few times).
Emma didn't get the best start, though that may have been her plan, because she moved up from last place to the front group over the first few hundred meters. She is a strong hurdler, and early on that allowed her to stick with the top runners in the event.
Follow the jump to see what happened after the first commercial break!
But as they hit the 1,000 meter mark (in a 3k race) a group of about seven runners began to pull away from the rest, and Emma wasn't quite able to hang with them.
After 2k, that front group was down to 5 runners and as they hit the final lap, it was down to 4. Then, over the last 100 meters the Russian, Zaripova pulled ahead to win Gold with a personal best, Ghribi of Tunisia solidly held on to the Silver for a National Record and the Bronze medal came right down to the wire.
It was a battle between Assefa of Ethiopia and Cheywa of Kenya fought it out, both leaning for the line right at the end. Assefa finished ahead of Cheywa by 4 hundredths of a second to earn the final spot on the podium.
Coburn finished strong, cutting two seconds off her previous Personal Best running a 9:23.54, but it only earner her 9th place. I say 'only', even though that's a pretty incredible accomplishment and she ran her best Steeplechase ever, but anyone who has heard her interviewed knows she's incredibly competitive and that she didn't simply want to run a personal best. But she will have more chances and she represented the Buffaloes and her Country well on the biggest stage in the world, the Olympics.
Congratulations again to Emma Coburn!
Jenny Simpson just qualified for the Women's 1500m Semifinals and will be running in the second heat on Wednesday.