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2008 Olympic Games Beijing - Women's 3000 m steeple



Host City: Beijing, China Format: Top four in each heat and next three fastest advanced to the final.
Date Started: August 15, 2008  
Date Finished: August 17, 2008  
(Competitors: 51; Countries: 30; Finalists: 15)  
    Venue(s): Beijing National Stadium, Beijing
Overview by IAAF    2008_olympic_stadium.jpg
World record holder Samitova-Galkina won the first heat in a swift 9:15.17, and was succeeded by Petrova (9:28.85) and Jepkorir (9:21.31) in the other two preliminaries. As in her heat, Samitiova- Galkina went straight to the front in the final, and sped past 1000m in 2:58.63, with the two Kenyans, Petrova and Ahmed the only ones daring to follow closely. By the fourth water jump Galkina had broken the opposition, and she was two seconds clear of Petrova at 2000m (6:01.20). A final lap of 69.6 ensured that Samitiova-Galkina broke her own world record and became the first women to run the event in less than nine minutes. Behind her, Jepkorir led the pursuers with 400m to go, was passed by Volkova, and overtook the Russian with 10m to go for the silver medal. Marta Dominguez (ESP), threatening for a medal with 300m to go, fell at the barrier before the last winter jump and failed to finish.
Summary by      
This was the inaugural steeplechase event at the Olympics for women, but the event had been held at the World Championships in 2005 and 2007. In the heats the newness of the event was evident when one runner fell face-first into the water jump. The 2007 champion was Yekaterina Volkova but the world record holder was her teammate Gulnara Samitova-Galkina, who had set it back in 2004. Samitova-Galkina had run at the Athina Olympics in the 5K, placing sixth. In the final, Samitova-Galkina took the lead early and pulled along four other runners – Tatyana Petrova (RUS), Eunice Jepkorir (KEN), Ruth Bisibori (KEN), and Zemzem Ahmed (ETH). After 1,000 metres only Petrova and Jepkorir remained with Samitova-Galkina, but at 2K, she was running alone. She won by half the final straight in 8:58.81, a world record, and became the first woman to break 9-minutes for the steeple. Jepkorir held on for the silver medal. Volkova had not been a factor early, but caught the chase group at the bell, and was able to pull away for the bronze medal.


Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows:

World record  Gulnara Samitova-Galkina (RUS) 9:01.59 Heraklion, Greece 4 July 2004
Olympic record Inaugural Event      

The following new world and Olympic records were set during this competition.

Date Event Name Nationality Time OR WR
17 August Final Gulnara Samitova-Galkina Russia 8:58.81 OR WR

The women's 3000 metres steeplechase at the 2008 Summer Olympics took place on 15–17 August at the Beijing National Stadium, the first time this event had ever been held at the Olympics.

The qualifying standards were 9:46.00 (A standard) and 9:55.00 (B standard).

In the final, Gulnara Samitova-Galkina of Russia became the first woman in history to run under 9 minutes for the steeplechase, setting a world record time of 8:58.81.

Women's 3000m Steeplechase - FINAL


Fans of the 3000m Steeplechase couldn’t have asked for a finer Olympic debut. With a dominating gun-to-tape performance, Gulnara Galkina-Samitova captured the event’s first Olympic gold medal with an 8:58.81 World record*, while smashing through the nine-minute barrier in the process.

Galkina-Samitova’s impressive form earlier this summer and in Friday’s opening round strongly suggested a record assault was on the cards tonight. From the outset, it was apparent that it was in her playbook. And it may have even been in the stars.

“There was a very good omen for me before the race,” said the Russian, who broke her own mark of 9:01.59 set in 2004. “20 km race walk winner Valeriy Borchin gave me his winner’s bouquet of flowers in a café yesterday, the champion’s flowers. Now I’m going to pass them on to someone else.”

Moving to the front at the gun, she was followed by Kenyans Eunice Jepkorir and Ruth Bisibori, compatriot Tatiana Petrova, and Ethiopian Zemzen Ahmed. Her blistering pace took her through the first kilometre in 2:58.63, well under record and nine-minute pace, all on her own.

With four-and-a-half laps to go, Petrova briefly moved into second, but Jepkorir, providing a glimpse of her mettle on this night, immediately reclaimed second position in an effort to maintain contact with Galkina-Samitova. But a lap later the World record holder broke the field, opening a slight gap with three laps to go, one she would extend over the next lap, splitting the race in two: one against the clock and another for the remaining two medals. Both would be extremely compelling.

Passing through the 2000m point in 6:01.20, Galkina-Samitova still had the record very much within reach, meanwhile behind her, Petrova regained the second position to work towards a Russian 1-2. But Jepkorir, head bobbing determinedly, maintained Petrova in her sights and retook second with just over one-and-a-half laps to go.

Further back, Spanish record holder Marta Dominguez made her charge toward medal contention, and by the time the bell sounded, she was in third. At the same time, World champion Yekaterina Volkova made her move and appeared to be in solid position as she approached the water jump for the final time.

Just moments earlier, Dominguez’s challenge came to a screeching and painful halt after she clipped the previous barrier with her trail leg, tumbling heavily to the track.

Well ahead, and with the time board clearly in sight, Galkina-Samitova smiled broadly as she approached the line, throwing up her arms in triumph when seeing that the nine-minute barrier had fallen.

Behind her Volkova seemed poised to take the silver, but was overtaken by a fast-fast-finishing Jepkorir, who lowered the African record to 9:07.41 to finish second.

“She took off with three laps to go,” said Jepkorir, the bronze medallist at the World championships last year. “I tried to push but she was just too fast.”

Volkova held on for bronze (9:07.64) with Petrova further back in fourth (9:12.33).

In one of the deepest races in history, Cristina Casandra lowered the Romanian record to 9:16.85 finishing fifth; African champion Zemzem Ahmed took the Ethiopian record down to 9:17.85 in seventh; and Jenny Barringer lowered her own U.S. record to 9:22.26, finishing ninth.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF

* pending the usual ratification procedures

3000 m steeple Women     Final 17 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 8.58.81     Gulnara Galkina Russia RUS 9 Jul 78 WR
2 9.07.41     Eunice Jepkorir Kenya KEN 17 Feb 82 AR
3 9.07.64     Yekaterina Volkova Russia RUS 16 Feb 78  
4 9.12.33     Tatyana Arkhipova Russia RUS 8 Apr 83  
5 9.16.85     Cristina Casandra Romania ROU 1 Feb 77 NR
6 9.17.35     Ruth Bisibori Kenya KEN 2 Jan 88  
7 9.17.85     Zemzem Ahmed Ethiopia ETH 27 Dec 84 NR
8 9.21.76     Wioletta Frankiewicz Poland POL 9 Jun 77  
9 9.22.26     Jenny Simpson United States USA 23 Aug 86 AR
10 9.25.63     Anna Willard United States USA 31 Mar 84  
11 9.30.04     Elena Romagnolo Italy ITA 5 Oct 82  
12 9.35.16     Zulema Fuentes-Pila Spain ESP 25 May 77  
13 9.36.43     Habiba Ghribi Tunisia TUN 9 Apr 84  
14 9.55.89     Roísín McGettigan Ireland IRL 23 Aug 80  
  DNF     Marta Domínguez Spain ESP 3 Nov 75  


Intermediate Athlete Country Mark
1000m Gulnara Samitova-Galkina  Russia 2:58.63
2000m Gulnara Samitova-Galkina  Russia 6:01.20

Women's 3000m Steeplechase Round 1


History was made at 20:25 this evening, when the gun sounded the start of the Olympic debut in the women’s 3000m steeplechase. Fittingly, the first Olympic record setter, unofficially ** anyway, was Russian Gulnara Galkina-Samitova, the event’s World record holder since 2004.

Dominating the field from the outset – she led by nearly six seconds at the bell – the Russian’s race was but a time trial with none either capable or willing to challenge, seemingly content to fight for the three remaining automatic qualifying spots. She crossed the line in 9:15.17, a performance that only one woman other than Galkina-Samitova has surpassed this season.

“I think I performed well,” Galkina-Samitova understated. During the final lap I saw the other runners on the screen and they were far behind, so I slowed down.” All-time, only four women have ever run faster.

Ilustrating phenomenal form this season, Samitova-Galkina lowered her career best to 14:33.13 in the 5000m in July, and more recently ran 4:03.31 for 1500m. Under the right conditions, she could very well challenge her 9:01.59 World record, as well as the event’s nine-minute barrier in Sunday’s final.

Behind her Ruth Bosibori, the World junior record holder, finished a distant second in a season’s best 9:19.88 ahead of Pole Wioletta Frankiewicz (9:21.88). Romanian Cristina Casandra (9:22.38) and Habiba Ghribi (9:25.50) of Tunisia each produced national records and advanced as well.

Just missing the cut was 21-year-old Yanmei Zhu of China, who finished seventh in 9:29.63, knocking nearly three seconds from her PB in front an appreciative near capacity crowd.

The second heat, won by World and European silver medallist Tatiana Petrova, indicated that a Russian sweep in the event, is a distinct possibility. Petrova ran comfortably much of it from the front, to take the close race in 9:28.85, ahead of Irishwoman Roisin McGettigan’s 9:28.92 season’s best. American champion and record holder Jenny Barringer was third (9:29.20) with Spaniard Zulema Fuentes-Pila (9:29.40) moving on as well.

Summing up the sensational atmosphere on the opening night of competition, Barringer said, “It’s phenomenal. The stadium is exciting and the flame, it sets you on fire.”

The major casualty was Kenyan Veronica Wanjiru who never regrouped from a picturesque pile up in the water pit early on.

Kenyan Eunice Jepkorir, the bronze medallist in Osaka last year, took the final heat in 9:21.31, pulling Spaniard Marta Dominguez (9:22.11) and reigning World champion Katerina Volkova (9:23.06) along to automatic qualifers. Ethiopian Zemzem Ahmed improved her career best to 9:25.63 to move on by right, while Italy’s Elena Romagnolo (9:227.48, NR), and American Anna Willard (9:28.52) moving on to Sunday’s final.

In all six national records were set.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF

* Only the best performance from the entire competition will be recognized as an Olympic record.
3000 m steeple Women     Heat 1 15 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 9.15.17   Q Gulnara Galkina Russia RUS 9 Jul 78  
2 9.19.75   Q Ruth Bisibori Kenya KEN 2 Jan 88  
3 9.21.88   Q Wioletta Frankiewicz Poland POL 9 Jun 77  
4 9.22.38   Q Cristina Casandra Romania ROU 1 Feb 77 NR
5 9.25.50   Q Habiba Ghribi Tunisia TUN 9 Apr 84 NR
6 9.29.14     Helen Clitheroe Great Britain GBR 2 Jan 74 NR
7 9.29.63     Zhu Yanmei China CHN 16 Oct 86  
8 9.36.81     Lindsey Anderson United States USA 23 May 85  
9 9.41.43     Mekdes Bekele Ethiopia ETH 20 Jan 87  
10 9.43.57     Fionnuala McCormack Ireland IRL 24 Sep 84  
11 9.43.95     Valentyna Zhudina Ukraine UKR 12 Mar 83  
12 9.45.33     Rosa María Morató Spain ESP 19 Jun 79  
13 9.47.88     Victoria Mitchell Australia AUS 25 Apr 82  
14 9.48.54     Türkan Özata-Erişmiş Turkey TUR 5 Jan 84  
15 9.49.45     Clarisse Cruz Portugal POR 9 Jul 78  
16 9.49.70     Minori Hayakari Japan JPN 29 Nov 72  
17 9.52.35     Widad Mendil Algeria ALG 12 May 83  
3000 m steeple Women     Heat 2 15 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 9.28.85   Q Tatyana Arkhipova Russia RUS 8 Apr 83  
2 9.28.92   Q Roísín McGettigan Ireland IRL 23 Aug 80  
3 9.29.20   Q Jenny Simpson United States USA 23 Aug 86  
4 9.29.40   Q Zulema Fuentes-Pila Spain ESP 25 May 77  
5 9.30.23     Jessica Augusto Portugal POR 8 Nov 81  
6 9.35.31     Ancuţa Bobocel Romania ROU 3 Oct 87  
7 9.38.08     Sophie Duarte France FRA 31 Jul 81  
8 9.47.02     Sofia Assefa Ethiopia ETH 14 Nov 87  
9 9.53.09     Durka Mana Kalameya Sudan SUD 19 Jun 88  
10 9.54.65     Veerle Dejaeghere Belgium BEL 1 Aug 73  
11 9.56.41     Hanane Ouhaddou Morocco MAR 1 Jan 82  
12 10.01.69     Veronica Nyaruai Kenya KEN 29 Oct 89  
13 10.04.38     Oksana Juravel Moldova MDA 23 Feb 86  
14 10.05.76     Aslı Çakır Alptekin Turkey TUR 20 Aug 85  
15 10.22.39     Iríni Kokkinaríou Greece GRE 14 Feb 81  
16 10.36.77     Zhao Yanni China CHN 27 Nov 86  
  DNF     Mardrea Hyman Jamaica JAM 22 Dec 72  
3000 m steeple Women     Heat 3 15 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 9.21.31   Q Eunice Jepkorir Kenya KEN 17 Feb 82  
2 9.22.11   Q Marta Domínguez Spain ESP 3 Nov 75  
3 9.23.06   Q Yekaterina Volkova Russia RUS 16 Feb 78  
4 9.25.63   Q Zemzem Ahmed Ethiopia ETH 27 Dec 84  
5 9.27.48   Q Elena Romagnolo Italy ITA 5 Oct 82 NR
6 9.28.52   Q Anna Willard United States USA 31 Mar 84  
7 9.29.86     Antje Möldner-Schmidt Germany GER 13 Jun 84 NR
8 9.30.21     Rasa Troup Lithuania LTU 1 Mar 77 NR
9 9.32.05     Donna MacFarlane Australia AUS 18 Jun 77  
10 9.34.39     Sara Moreira Portugal POR 17 Oct 85  
11 9.47.02     Katarzyna Kowalska Poland POL 7 Apr 85  
12 9.51.93     Barbara Parker Great Britain GBR 8 Nov 82  
13 10.04.05     Li Zhenzhu China CHN 13 Dec 85  
14 10.18.60     Inna Poluškina Latvia LAT 7 Jul 84  
  DNF     Korine Hinds Jamaica JAM 18 Jan 76  
  DNF     Dobrinka Shalamanova Bulgaria BUL 1 May 83  
  DNF     Zenaide Vieira Brazil BRA 25 Jun 85  




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