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Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Men's 3000 metres steeplechase

The men's 3000 metres steeplechase competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was held at the Olympic Stadium between 15–17 August.

Men's 3000 metres steeplechase
at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad
Sgt. Hillary Bor runs 3,000-meter steeplechase at Rio Olympic Games photos by Tim Hipps, U.S. Army IMCOM Public Affairs (28945469872).jpg
The water jump during the Men's 3000m steeplechase
VenueOlympic Stadium
Dates15 August 2016 (heats)
17 August 2016 (final)
Competitors45 from 25 nations
Winning time8:03.28
1st, gold medalist(s) Conseslus Kipruto  Kenya
2nd, silver medalist(s) Evan Jager  United States
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad  France
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2020 →


Continuing the country's unbeaten tradition in the Olympic steeplechase since 1968, the principal challengers to the gold medal came from the Kenyan team. Ezekiel Kemboi returned to defend his 2012 Olympic title and had won almost every global final since 2003. His sole loss came at the 2008 Beijing Olympics to another member of the team Brimin Kipruto. The third Kenyan was Conseslus Kipruto, who was the 2015 World Championships runner-up and held the top three times that season, having won all of the 2016 IAAF Diamond League meets. The next highest ranked entrant at sixth was Bahrain's John Kibet Koech (himself a former Kenyan). The 2012 Olympic runner-up Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad was also present.[1][2]

In the past Kemboi has sported the frohawk, but at the start line for the final, the 34-year-old man was sporting the reverse mohawk. His prince in training, Conseslus Kipruto has watched his act from behind in the previous two world championships as had many other men in this field. Conseslus made it clear from the gun that this was not going to be a strategic race, rushing to the lead. Returning silver medalist Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad immediately moved to cover the lead, while Evan Jager ran around the outside of the pack to join them at the front 200 metres into the race. By the first barrier, the race was already a string, rather than a pack. Over the next lap, Conseslus pressed the pace, with only Jager following. A gap opened back to the string of chasers, with Kemboi in the middle of the field. Through the next lap Jacob Araptany and Yemane Haileselassie trying to bridge the gap to Jager but also battling each other for the third position. 2008 gold medalist Brimin Kipruto moved up to join the challenge for third with Kemboi gliding along the inside to join the back of the leaders. The gap was disappearing. Suddenly at the last barrier before the end of the third lap, Araptany didn't appear to be prepared for the barrier, he just went down sliding under the barrier, his chin taking a knockout blow from the barrier with an audible crash. Following the next water jump, Jager moved past Conseslus, the pair tracked by Kemboi, Kenyan ex-pat Hillary Bor and Brimin. With Jager now pushing the pace, the gap again began to form, with just Conseslus and Kemboi in the lead group.

Prefaced by the 2015 Steeplechase at Paris, Jager had learned he could beat the Kenyans by pushing the pace early. Here he was attempting to do just that. After another lap and a half of this, the gap grew back to fourth place Bor, with Brimin falling back and Mekhissi-Benabbad at the tail of the second group. With less than two laps to go Amor Ben Yahia in the middle of the second group fell over the barrier, leaving Soufiane El Bakkali, Brimin, Bor, Mekhissi-Benabbad and Yoann Kowal the remaining string of chasers. Jager held the lead to just before the bell. Over the penultimate water jump, Kemboi moved into the marking position, but after the following barrier, Conseslus gathered himself and sprinted by both. Kemboi chased Conseslus to the barrier before the backstretch, to be in the perfect position to launch his patented surge. But the surge was not there for Kemboi, instead it was Conseslus who made the surge down the backstretch. By the final water jump, the gap was insurmountable and Conseslus knew it. He began waving to the crowd. Conseslus ran the final straight, arms outstretched celebrating his victory (as Kemboi had done before him). Behind him, Jager was not done, executing his final kick around the beaten Kemboi on the home stretch and pulling away to the silver medal. Kemboi jogged across the finish line in third. Well behind, Mekhissi-Benabbad used the same kind of final lap that had brought him to two previous silver medals to beat the group of chasers to the line in fourth.[3]

After the race was over, the French team filed a protest, claiming Kemboi had stepped off the track following the first water jump. Video was reviewed of the race and the foul was detected, causing Kemboi to be disqualified, advancing Mekhissi-Benabbad to the bronze medal.[4] That also made Mekhissi-Benabbad and not Kemboi, the first man to win three Olympic medals in the steeplechase. This was Kenya's ninth straight and eleventh overall gold medal in the steeplechase. Jager was the first American to win a medal in the steeplechase since Brian Diemer in 1984.

After dominating the event, with two Olympic gold medals, four World Championship gold medals (and three silvers before that), Ezekiel Kemboi announced his retirement after the race, only to retract it and compete for one more year after realizing that he was disqualified.

The medals for the competition were presented by Aïcha Garad Ali, Djibouti, member of the International Olympic Committee, and the gifts were presented by Bernard Amsalem, Council Member of the IAAF.

Competition formatEdit

The men's 3000 m steeplechase competition consists of a heats stage (three races) and a final.[5]


All times are Brasilia Time (UTC-3)

Date Time Round
Monday, 15 August 2016 10:25 Heats
Wednesday, 17 August 2016 11:50 Finals


Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record   Saif Saaeed Shaheen (QAT) 7:53.63 Brussels, Belgium 3 September 2004
Olympic record   Julius Kariuki (KEN) 8:05.51 Seoul, South Korea 30 September 1988
2016 World leading   Conseslus Kipruto (KEN) 8:00.12 Birmingham, United Kingdom 5 June 2016

The following records were established during the competition:

Date Event Name Nationality Distance Record
17 August Final Conseslus Kipruto   Kenya 8:03.28 OR



Heat 1Edit

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Hillary Bor   United States 8:25.01 Q
2 Soufiane El Bakkali   Morocco 8:25.17 Q
3 Ezekiel Kemboi   Kenya 8:25.51 Q
4 Matthew Hughes   Canada 8:26.27 q
5 Sebastian Martos   Spain 8:28.44
6 Benjamin Kiplagat   Uganda 8:30.76
7 Halil Akkas   Turkey 8:33.12 SB
8 Hailemariyam Amare   Ethiopia 8:35.01
9 Nelson Cherutich   Bahrain 8:35.87
10 Yuri Floriani   Italy 8:40.80
11 Kazuya Shiojiri   Japan 8:40.98
12 Rob Mullett   Great Britain 8:48.19
13 Jeroen D'hoedt   Belgium 8:48.29
14 Mitko Tsenov   Bulgaria 8:54.79
Ali Messaoudi   Algeria DQ R163.3b

Heat 2Edit

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Evan Jager   United States 8:25.86 Q
2 Brimin Kipruto   Kenya 8:26.25 Q
3 Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad   France 8:26.32 Q
4 Yemane Haileselassie   Eritrea 8:26.72 q
5 Hamid Ezzine   Morocco 8:27.69 q
6 John Kibet Koech   Bahrain 8:28.81
7 Chala Beyo   Ethiopia 8:32.06
8 Aras Kaya   Turkey 8:32.35
9 José Peña   Venezuela 8:32.38
10 Chris Winter   Canada 8:33.95
11 Bilal Tabti   Algeria 8:38.87
12 Abdoullah Bamoussa   Italy 8:42.81
13 Kaur Kivistik   Estonia 8:44.25
14 Abdalla Targan   Sudan 8:52.20
15 Abdelaziz Merzougui   Spain 9:03.40

Heat 3Edit

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Conseslus Kipruto   Kenya 8:21.40 Q
2 Jacob Araptany   Uganda 8:21.53 Q
3 Donald Cabral   United States 8:21.96 Q
4 Amor Ben Yahia   Tunisia 8:23.12 q
5 Yoann Kowal   France 8:23.49 q
6 Altobeli da Silva   Brazil 8:26.59 q
7 Hicham Sigueni   Morocco 8:27.82
8 Hicham Bouchicha   Algeria 8:33.61
9 Taylor Milne   Canada 8:34.38
10 Krystian Zalewski   Poland 8:34.52
11 Ole Hesselbjerg   Denmark 8:40.08
12 Mohamed Ismail Ibrahim   Djibouti 8:53.10
13 Fernando Carro   Spain 8:53.17
Tafese Seboka   Ethiopia DQ R163.3b
Tarik Langat Akdag   Turkey DNF


Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
  Conseslus Kipruto   Kenya 8:03.28 OR
  Evan Jager   United States 8:04.28 SB
  Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad   France 8:11.52 SB
4 Soufiane El Bakkali   Morocco 8:14.35 PB
5 Yoann Kowal   France 8:16.75 SB
6 Brimin Kipruto   Kenya 8:18.79 SB
7 Hillary Bor   United States 8:22.74 PB
8 Donald Cabral   United States 8:25.81
9 Altobeli da Silva   Brazil 8:26.30 PB
10 Matthew Hughes   Canada 8:36.83
11 Yemane Haileselassie   Eritrea 8:40.68
Jacob Araptany   Uganda DNF
Hamid Ezzine   Morocco DNF
Amor Ben Yahia   Tunisia DQ R163.3b
Ezekiel Kemboi   Kenya DQ R163.3b[6]


  1. ^ Morse, Parker (2016-08-09). Preview: men's 3000m steeplechase – Rio 2016 Olympic Games. IAAF. Retrieved on 2016-08-14.
  2. ^ senior outdoor 2016 3000 Metres Steeplechase men. IAAF. Retrieved on 2016-08-14.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 September 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Men's 3000m Steeplechase - Standings Archived 21 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Rio2016. Retrieved on 14 August 2016.
  6. ^ Kemboi disqualified from steeplechase, Mekhissi takes bronze