Werkuha, Mekides Grab Steeplechase Silver & Bronze in Oregon

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia added two more medals on Thursday morning after Werkuha Getachew and Mekides Abebe won silver and bronze in the 3000m steeplechase World title in Oregon.

The steeplechase World title was claimed by Kenyan-born Norah Jeruto who stormed to victory in a new championship record of 8:53.02 to give her adopted nation, Kazakhstan, its first-ever gold medal at the global event.

African champion Werkuha set an Ethiopian record of 8:54.61 while  Olympic fourth-place finisher Mekides also set a new PB of 8:56.08.

This is the first women’s 3000m steeplechase race in history where the top three all dipped under nine minutes, says the World Athletics, the sports governing body.

Trio Qualified for 500m final

Newly crowned World Champion Letesenbet Gidey, the world 1500m silver medallist World Gudaf Tsegay and their compatriot Dawit Seyaum easily qualified for the women’s 5000m final on the same day.

There were two semi-finals. Gudaf finished the qualification race, clocking 14:52.64, ahead of Dawit who timed 14:53.06 in the first race.

The two were followed home by the Kenyan duo of former World under 20 champion Beatrice Chebet (14:53.34) and World 10 000m bronze medallist Margaret Chelimo (14:53.45).

In the second Semifinal, Letesenbet glided to victory clocking 14:52.27 – keep her quest of completing the 5000-10000m double alive.

Ethiopia has eight medals through six days of the 10-day competition at Hayward Field in Eugene, ranking the medal table second with three gold, four silver, and one Bronze. Neighboring Kenya also ranks third with six medals – one gold, three silvers, and one bronze.

The United States remains well ahead of the two in the medals table, however. The Americans have topped the chart after picking up 19 medals – 6 gold, 5 Silver, and 8 Bronze.

Featured Image Caption: Gold Medallist Kazakhstan’s Jeruto celebrates alongside Werkuha and Mekides after winning the women’s 3000m steeplechase on Thursday morning at the World Athletics Championships. [Photo REUTERS/Mike Segar]

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