USA's Evan Jager Wins USA's First-Ever Steeplechase Medal At World Championships
American record holder and two-time U.S. Olympian Evan Jager made history on Tuesday afternoon by winning the first-ever medal by a U.S. athlete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the IAAF World Championships with his bronze medal finish behind Kenya's Conseslus Kipruto and Morocco's Soufiane Elbakkali.
The event, which requires runners to hurdle over seven water jumps and four barriers per lap, has been dominated by Kenyans since the early 90s. Since 1991, a Kenyan-born athlete has won every gold medal.
Jager led heading into the final lap but was overtaken by Kipruto, the 2015 Olympic champion, just before the final water barrier. Jager fell back to third place but fended off France's Mahiedine Mekhissi in the last stretch to retain bronze.
Last summer, Jager won a silver medal at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and established himself as one of the world's best steeplechasers. Jager was considered a medal contender in 2015 after he lowered his American record to 8:00.45 at the Paris Diamond League despite falling over the final hurdle. He competed in the world championship final but faded to sixth place.
Jager entered the world championships with the fastest time in the world for 2017 after a 8:01.29 that beat the Kenyans by six seconds at the Monaco Diamond League.