Norah Jeruto, after missing Olympics, wins track worlds steeplechase in No. 3 time ever


Kazakhstan’s Norah Jeruto could only watch the Tokyo Olympic 3000m steeplechase. Able to run for her new country this year, she left no doubt who is the world’s top steepler on Wednesday night.

Jeruto won the world championships gold medal in Eugene, Oregon, in 8 minutes, 53.02 seconds, the third-fastest time in history. She distanced Ethiopian silver and bronze medalists Werkuha Getachew and Mekidas Abebe coming off the last water jump.

“At the start line I was afraid of my friends from Ethiopia,” Jeruto said, according to World Athletics. “They are also champions like me, so I was scared of them.”

Americans were sixth (Olympic silver medalist Courtney Frerichs), eighth (2019 World champion Emma Coburn) and 12th (Courtney Wayment).

Jeruto, 26, was the world’s fastest steepler last year but could not compete at the Olympics while in the process of switching her nationality from Kenya to Kazakhstan. Before the switch, Jeruto was the world’s second-fastest steepler in 2018 and fourth-fastest in 2019.

Jeruto, who still trains in Kenya, had to wait three years since she last represented Kenya to be able to compete for Kazakhstan.

Now, she’s the first Kazakh athlete to win a world outdoor track and field title.

“It’s the first thing I’ve done for my country,” she said while wrapped in a Kazakhstan flag. “I want to tell them spasibo [thank you].”

Worlds continue Thursday featuring the 200m finals for men (Noah LylesErriyon Knighton) and women (Shelly-Ann Fraser-PryceElaine Thompson-HerahShericka Jackson).

TRACK WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule | Results | U.S. Roster | Key Events

In the night’s other final, China’s Feng Bin upset the last two Olympic women’s discus champions — Croatian Sandra Perkovic, who took silver, and Tokyo gold medalist American Valarie Allman, who earned bronze. Allman became the first U.S. woman to win a world championships discus medal. On Her Turf has more on the women’s discus final here.

Including Jeruto and Feng, the last 14 gold medals at these worlds went to athletes from 14 different nations: the U.S., Jamaica, Ethiopia, Qatar, Venezuela, Belgium, Morocco, Kenya, Slovenia, Australia, Great Britain, Brazil and now Kazakhstan and China.

Olympic champion and world record holder Sydney McLaughlin cruised to the eighth-fastest 400m hurdles time in history (52.17, which would have been a world record up until three years ago) to lead the qualifiers into Friday’s final. Half of the field is American, also including defending champion Dalilah Muhammad.

Caster Semenya, the two-time Olympic 800m champion competing in her first worlds since 2017, was eliminated in the 5000m in 13th place in her heat. Semenya, who was not expected to make the final, moved up to the 5000m last year after a World Athletics rule was instituted capping testosterone levels in women’s events between 400m and the mile. On Her Turf has more on Semenya here.

Ethiopians Letesenbet Gidey (who won the 10,000m on Saturday) and Gudaf Tsegay (silver in the 1500m on Monday) won the 5000m heats. Sifan Hassan, who won the 5000m and 10,000m at the Olympics, was third in her heat to advance to Saturday’s final.

American Michael Norman was the fastest qualifier into Friday’s men’s 400m final, which will not include Olympic champion Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas (injured) or Diamond League champion Michael Cherry, the American who was eliminated in Wednesday’s semifinals.

No Americans made Friday’s women’s 400m final or Thursday’s men’s 800m semis.

Most notably, Donavan Brazier was seventh in his first-round heat, ending his world title defense. Brazier, who missed the Olympic team while racing on a broken tibia last summer, raced while injured again this summer and plans to get Achilles surgery on the opposite foot next week.

“I came into it with the expectation to be competitive, and I couldn’t even do that today, so it’s extremely disappointing to say the absolute least,” Brazier told Lewis Johnson on USA Network. “I don’t like disappointing America, but that’s how it feels right now.”

Brit Max Burgin, the world’s fastest 800m man this year, withdrew before the heats with an unspecified injury.

Also Wednesday, Fred Kerley‘s agent said that the world 100m champion will not take part in the 4x100m relay later this week due to a quad injury suffered in the 200m semis.

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Faith Kipyegon breaks second world record in eight days; three WRs fall in Paris


Kenyan Faith Kipyegon broke her second world record in as many Fridays as three world records fell at a Diamond League meet in Paris.

Kipyegon, a 29-year-old mom, followed her 1500m record from last week by running the fastest 5000m in history.

She clocked 14 minutes, 5.20 seconds, pulling away from now former world record holder Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia, who ran 14:07.94 for the third-fastest time in history. Gidey’s world record was 14:06.62.

“When I saw that it was a world record, I was so surprised,” Kipyegon said, according to meet organizers. “The world record was not my plan. I just ran after Gidey.”

Kipyegon, a two-time Olympic 1500m champion, ran her first 5000m in eight years. In the 1500m, her primary event, she broke an eight-year-old world record at the last Diamond League meet in Italy last Friday.

Kipyegon said she will have to talk with her team to decide if she will add the 5000m to her slate for August’s world championships in Budapest.

Next year in the 1500m, she can bid to become the second person to win the same individual Olympic track and field event three times (joining Usain Bolt). After that, she has said she may move up to the 5000m full-time en route to the marathon.

Kipyegon is the first woman to break world records in both the 1500m and the 5000m since Italian Paola Pigni, who reset them in the 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m over a nine-month stretch in 1969 and 1970.

Full Paris meet results are here. The Diamond League moves to Oslo next Thursday, live on Peacock.

Also Friday, Ethiopian Lamecha Girma broke the men’s 3000m steeplechase world record by 1.52 seconds, running 7:52.11. Qatar’s Saif Saaeed Shaheen set the previous record in 2004. Girma is the Olympic and world silver medalist.

Olympic 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway ran the fastest two-mile race in history, clocking 7:54.10. Kenyan Daniel Komen previously had the fastest time of 7:58.61 from 1997 in an event that’s not on the Olympic program and is rarely contested at top meets. Ingebrigtsen, 22, is sixth-fastest in history in the mile and eighth-fastest in the 1500m.

Olympic and world silver medalist Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic won the 400m in 49.12 seconds, chasing down Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, who ran her first serious flat 400m in four years. McLaughlin-Levrone clocked a personal best 49.71 seconds, a time that would have earned bronze at last year’s world championships.

“I’m really happy with the season opener, PR, obviously things to clean up,” said McLaughlin-Levrone, who went out faster than world record pace through 150 meters. “My coach wanted me to take it out and see how I felt. I can’t complain with that first 200m.”

And the end of the race?

“Not enough racing,” she said. “Obviously, after a few races, you kind of get the feel for that lactic acid. So, first race, I knew it was to be expected.”

McLaughlin-Levrone is expected to race the flat 400m at July’s USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, where the top three are in line to make the world team in the individual 400m. She also has a bye into August’s worlds in the 400m hurdles and is expected to announce after USATF Outdoors which race she will contest at worlds.

Noah Lyles, the world 200m champion, won the 100m in 9.97 seconds into a headwind. Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs of Italy was seventh in 10.21 in his first 100m since August after struggling through health issues since the Tokyo Games.

Lyles wants to race both the 100m and the 200m at August’s worlds. He has a bye into the 200m. The top three at USATF Outdoors join reigning world champion Fred Kerley on the world championships team. Lyles is the fifth-fastest American in the 100m this year, not counting Kerley, who is undefeated in three meets at 100m in 2023.

Olympic and world silver medalist Keely Hodgkinson won the 800m in 1:55.77, a British record. American Athing Mu, the Olympic and world champion with a personal best of 1:55.04, is expected to make her season debut later this month.

World champion Grant Holloway won the 110m hurdles in 12.98 seconds, becoming the first man to break 13 seconds this year. Holloway has the world’s four best times in 2023.

American Valarie Allman won the discus over Czech Sandra Perkovic in a meeting of the last two Olympic champions. Allman threw 69.04 meters and has the world’s 12 best throws this year.

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Iga Swiatek sweeps into French Open final, where she faces a surprise


Iga Swiatek marched into the French Open final without dropping a set in six matches. All that stands between her and a third Roland Garros title is an unseeded foe.

Swiatek plays 43rd-ranked Czech Karolina Muchova in the women’s singles final, live Saturday at 9 a.m. ET on NBC,, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.

Swiatek, the top-ranked Pole, swept 14th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 6-2, 7-6 (7) in Thursday’s semifinal in her toughest test all tournament. Haddad Maia squandered three break points at 4-all in the second set.

Swiatek dropped just 23 games thus far, matching her total en route to her first French Open final in 2020 (which she won for her first WTA Tour title of any kind). After her semifinal, she signed a courtside camera with the hashtag #stepbystep.

“For sure I feel like I’m a better player,” than in 2020, she said. “Mentally, tactically, physically, just having the experience, everything. So, yeah, my whole life basically.”

Swiatek can become the third woman since 2000 to win three French Opens after Serena Williams and Justine Henin and, at 22, the youngest woman to win four total majors since Williams in 2002.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

Muchova upset No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus to reach her first major final.

Muchova, a 26-year-old into the second week of the French Open for the first time, became the first player to take a set off the powerful Belarusian all tournament, then rallied from down 5-2 in the third set to prevail 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 7-5.

Sabalenka, who overcame previous erratic serving to win the Australian Open in January, had back-to-back double faults in her last service game.

“Lost my rhythm,” she said. “I wasn’t there.”

Muchova broke up what many expected would be a Sabalenka-Swiatek final, which would have been the first No. 1 vs. No. 2 match at the French Open since Williams beat Maria Sharapova in the 2013 final.

Muchova is unseeded, but was considered dangerous going into the tournament.

In 2021, she beat then-No. 1 Ash Barty to make the Australian Open semifinals, then reached a career-high ranking of 19. She dropped out of the top 200 last year while struggling through injuries.

“Some doctors told me maybe you’ll not do sport anymore,” Muchova said. “It’s up and downs in life all the time. Now I’m enjoying that I’m on the upper part now.”

Muchova has won all five of her matches against players ranked in the top three. She also beat Swiatek in their lone head-to-head, but that was back in 2019 when both players were unaccomplished young pros. They have since practiced together many times.

“I really like her game, honestly,” Swiatek said. “I really respect her, and she’s I feel like a player who can do anything. She has great touch. She can also speed up the game. She plays with that kind of freedom in her movements. And she has a great technique. So I watched her matches, and I feel like I know her game pretty well.”

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