Emma Coburn recalls the day she became an Olympic medalist

Michel CooperLast Update : Saturday 24 June 2017 - 1:14 AM
Emma Coburn recalls the day she became an Olympic medalist

BOULDER — There are times when Emma Coburn is struck by the magnitude of what she accomplished last summer in Rio, becoming the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in the steeplechase. But the nature of her career motivates her to spend more time looking ahead than behind.

“I think it will continue to mean more to me the farther I get away from it,” Coburn said recently. “As athletes we’re always seeking out what’s next, what’s greater, what’s better, what’s faster, always trying to improve ourselves. That day, that moment was completely overwhelming with love and pride and my family and just soaking it all in. But then we fly to Paris and we have another race. And it’s saying, ‘OK, how can I beat those two women who beat me?’ You’re not resting on that medal.”

Coburn was in fourth place that morning in Rio until she passed Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech with just over 700 meters to go.

“With about 900 to go,” Coburn recalled, “I was really far back still. I remember thinking, ‘Fourth in the world, that’s really good.’ Then the second that thought finished, I said, ‘No, go get her.’ For a few hundred meters I worked and she was fading and I passed her. Where I passed her, there were some Team USA athletes and staff and I got a big surge of adrenaline hearing them cheer. The woman I passed, I knew she had a really strong kick. So for the next lap I was just thinking, ‘You have to stay on it because she’s really strong and she has a good kick so I can’t settle just because I passed her. I have to keep pushing.’ ”

On the last lap, Coburn’s thinking shifted. Chepkoech was no longer a threat but the second-place runner, Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi of Kenya, came within reach. On the backstretch, Coburn moved within a stride of her.

“Then we both ran into the water jump,” Coburn said. “She had the inside lane and I had the outside lane, so she had a few steps on me when she cut in for the 100. I so badly wish I could have got that little bit extra to get silver, but I was really, really at peace with the bronze.”

Coburn finished in 9:07.63, a half-second behind Jepkemoi. Ruth Jebet of Bahrain won in 8:59.75.

“There’s definitely times when I see the medal and reflect, ‘Oh my gosh, wow, that’s this lifetime achievement that I will get to have forever,’ ” Coburn said. “Records are always broken, but that medal, no one can take away from me. I’m still so hungry for more. I want more medals and to finish higher in races. But I will sometimes reflect back and see it and say, ‘Oh my gosh, this is a big deal.’ “

Source: denverpost

Short Link
2017-06-24 2017-06-24
Leave a Reply
Required fields*

Your email address will not be published.

Comments Rules :

عدم الإساءة للكاتب أو للأشخاص أو للمقدسات أو مهاجمة الأديان أو الذات الالهية. والابتعاد عن التحريض الطائفي والعنصري والشتائم.

Type a small note about the comments posted on your site (you can hide this note from comments settings)

Michel Cooper