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Ruth Jebet (born 17 November 1996) is a Kenyan-born long-distance runner and steeplechase specialist who competes internationally for Bahrain. She is the current world record holder and reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 3000 metres steeplechase, both achieved before turning 20.

Ruth Jebet
Personal information
Nationality Bahraini
Born (1996-11-17) 17 November 1996 (age 21)
Height 1.62 m (5 ft 4 in)
Weight 51 kg (112 lb)
Sport Track and field
Event(s) Steeplechase
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)
  • 3000 m steeplechase: 8:52.78 WR


Jebet took the opportunity to run for Bahrain at the age of sixteen, transferring her eligibility in February 2013. In April she won the 3000 metres and the 5000 metres at the Kenyan high school championships.[1]

The teenager excelled in her debut outing for Bahrain, coming second in the 3000 metres steeplechase to Moroccan Olympian Salima El Ouali Alami at the 2013 Arab Athletics Championships.[2] Her time of 9:52.47 minutes was a Bahraini national record for the event. She improved upon her own mark that July at the 2013 Asian Athletics Championships, where she seized the lead from the start and never relinquished her position. She defeated pre-race favourite and Asian Games champion Sudha Singh by more than fifteen seconds and her time of 9:40.84 minutes was a new championship record.[3][4] This time ranked her as the top Asia steeplechase runner that year.[5]

In 2014, still only 17, she won the World Junior Championship ahead of two other Kenyan girls. That same month at the Weltklasse Zurich with older competition, she set the Asian continental record at 9:20.55, missing the World junior record by only .13 of a second (ranking her #31 of all time).

In the 2016 Summer Olympics, she became the first Bahraini athlete to win an Olympic gold medal by winning the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 8:59.75 making her the second fastest within the event of all time.[6][7]

On 27 August 2016, at the Paris stage of the 2016 IAAF Diamond League, Jebet smashed the existing 3000 metres steeplechase world record running at 8:52.78, more than six seconds faster than the old record.[8][9]

While her change in eligibility offends many Kenyans, who have accused her of disloyalty, she benefits financially far better than Kenyan athletes. For her Olympic gold medal, she is reported to be paid USD 500,000, equivalent with 52 million Kenyan shillings. As point of comparison, double 800 metres gold medalist and world record holder David Rudisha, running for Kenya, will be paid about 1 million Kenyan shillings, about USD 10,000.[10]


External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Gulnara Samitova-Galkina
Women's 3000 m Steeplechase
World Record Holder

August 27, 2016 –
Succeeded by