Americans Emma Coburn, Courtney Frerichs 1-2 in women's steeplechase

Americans Emma Coburn, Courtney Frerichs 1-2 in women's steeplechase

American remain comfortably clear at the top of the medals table with eight golds, eight silver and seven bronze for a total of 23.

Emma Coburn became the first athlete to break a record at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships here as she led home an American one-two to emerge victorious in a freaky and dramatic 3,000 metres steeplechase race.

The duo were not counted among the outright favorites heading to London, although Coburn did win bronze at the Olympics a year ago.

They were the fourth and fifth medals for the US distance runners at the championships in London, including a bronze from Amy Cragg in the marathon, a bronze from Evan Jager in the men's steeplechase and a silver from Jenny Simpson in the 1,500 meters. She sealed her victory with a surge after the final water barrier.

The leading pack was heavily congested heading into the last 200 meters.

Coburn finished third in the Olympic final past year though was only an outsider for the title here, with the likes of Jepkemoi and Jebet considered the favorites, though in a dramatic race the American stayed calm to set a new Championship record with a time of 9:02.58.

"Oh my goodness, what a race to be part of", she said.

What was she thinking? Image Getty
What was she thinking? Image Getty

"I never expected to win in that time but I kept pressing. It is pretty awesome to get a championship record", she added.

American Kimberlyn Duncan finished just behind Stevens in sixth.

Kenyans won the previous two women's steeplechase world championship titles but would have to settle for bronze in 2017.

Coburn broke the American record of 9:07.63 which she set at the Olympics.

"My coach [Jerry Schumacher] had told me to just go for it", Frerichs said. Wow, I am shocked. "Her form is great and there was an extreme level of comfort".

Team USA will go home feeling like they have upset the 3,000m steeplechase status quo, with Coburn and Frerich's medals adding to Evan Jager's landmark bronze in the men's event on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old Coburn waited patiently behind world record holder Ruth Jebet of Bahrain and three Kenyan athletes, including defending champion Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi, for most of the race, before charging for the lead together with her teammate Courtney Frerichs in the final lap.

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