Peruth Chemutai, the queen of obstacles at 22 years old


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Peruth Chemutai, the queen of obstacles at 22 years old

Ugandan police officer Peruth Chemutai, 22, climbed 20 places over Rio 2016 to proclaim herself the 3,000-meter hurdles Olympic champion in Tokyo with a time of 9: 01.45, a national record, ahead of the American Courtney Frerichs, who had broken the race in the second kilometer.

Kenya, superpower of the discipline in the men’s category, in which it obtained by all consolation the bronze of Benjamin Kigen after 9 consecutive titles, also in the women’s final it had to settle for a third, that of Hyvin Kiyeng, world champion in 2017 and Olympic silver in Rio.

Kenya needed to regain self-esteem in women, and for this it had Beatrice Chepkoech, record holder (8: 44.32) and world champion, in addition to Kiyeng.

Chepkoech, however, had not won a single race in 2021. The Olympic final was a great opportunity to correct the course of the season, but when push came to shove, he was never in the running for places of honor.

Peruth Chemutai came out on top, passed the first thousand in 3: 05.18 and stretched the group, which was losing units. The Spanish Carolina Robles was already off the hook until the end (fourteenth with 9: 50.96).

But American Courtney Frerichs was not happy with the pace. He fanned it and left. He passed the second thousand in 6: 05.17 and heard the bell, which warns of the last lap, ten meters ahead of Chemutai.

It was not enough margin. The African passed her in the counter-right and went alone towards the goal to win with a time of 9: 01.45, a national record.

Frerichs, world runner-up in 2017, arrived three seconds later, and Kiyen, third with 9: 05.39, had to wake up to avoid being caught by the 19-year-old Ethiopian Mekides Abebe, who arrived very strong on the straight.


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