Tokyo previews – Women’s 3000m Steeplechase

Tokyo will have several athletes thinking they’ve got a shot of Olympic gold. The Steeple is one of the hardest to predict but we’ll give it a good go. Here’s our Women’s 3000m Steeplechase preview.


Sunday 1 August 01:40 UK Time (Heats) Wednesday 4 August 12:00 UK Time (Final)

2021 Fastest Times

2021 RankingTime AthleteCountry
109:00.7Norah JerutoKenya
209:02.5Mekides AbebeEthiopia
309:02.6Winfred Mutile YaviBahrain
409:03.8Hyvin KiyengKenya
509:04.9Beatrice ChepkoechKenya
609:08.2Emma CoburnUSA
709:09.1Gesa Felicitas KrauseGermany
809:11.8Courtney FrerichsUSA
909:13.8Yekaterina IvoninaRussia
1009:14.0Lomi MuletaEthiopia

British interest

Lizzie Bird and Aimee Pratt represent GB & NI and sit first and third respectively on the British all-time list. Such is the speed at the top end of the field it would be a tall order for them to be in the mix but run well and both may hope to make the final.

The favourites

Hyvin Kiyeng won silver in Rio, though the winner Ruth Jebet has since been banned. A world championship win in 2015 and bronze in 2017, she was only 8th in 2019 but comes into the competition having beaten most of the rest of the field in Monaco.

That only tells part of the story. In Monaco she entered the water jump dueling for the win but was the beneficiary of Emma Coburn falling after the Kenyan had tired and then rallied on the back straight. Coburn was the 2017 Champ, Rio bronze medalist and won silver behind Chepkoech in the Doha World Champs. She is by my money the favourite.

Beatrice Chepkoech on her day is capable of running times far out of reach of her competitors but has shown very little of that form this year. The world record holder will hope for a return to form.

Mekides Abebe is somewhat of an unknown entite. Barely twenty she was second in the Doha diamond league and won comfortably in Hengelo to earn her place in Tokyo. Besides that we know little about the Ethiopian, with only one other race in Ethiopia and that in itself may be a challenge for her opponents. We will have to wait and see.

Courtney Frerichs has only lost to Emma Coburn, a defeat incurred as a rabbit for most of the US trials race. She again could claim a podium spot.

Finally Gesa Felicitas Krause is twice a world medalist but has not so far indicated that shape this year.

Our medal predictions

  1. Emma Coburn
  2. Hyvin Kiyeng
  3. Courtney Frerichs


WR: 8.44.32 Beatrice Chepkoech (2018)

OR: 8.58.81 Gulnara Galkina (2008)

Featured image “Womens 3000 metres Steeplechase heats” by puffin11uk is marked with CC0 1.0

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