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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 was the world record holder and is currently the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 3000 metres steeplechase, both achieved before turning 20.

Ruth Jebet
Personal information
Born (1996-11-17) 17 November 1996 (age 22)
Height1.62 m (5 ft 4 in)
Weight51 kg (112 lb)
SportTrack and field
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)
  • 3000 m steeplechase: 8:52.78


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]

Ruth Jebet has been suspended since February 2018 for testing positive for EPO.[11]


  1. ^ Ruth Chebet. Tilastopaja. Retrieved on 2013-12-28.
  2. ^ 18th Arab Championships, Doha (Qatar) 21-24/05/2013. Africa Athle (2013-05-21). Retrieved on 2013-10-07.
  3. ^ Ruth Jebet Wins 3000m Steeplechase Women - Eugene Diamond League. Retrieved on 2016-09-10.
  4. ^ Two championship records while China's hurdles legacy continues at the Asian Championships. IAAF (2013-07-06). Retrieved on 2013-12-28.
  5. ^ Ruth Jebet Women's 3000m Steeplechase | Zurich Diamond League. Retrieved on 2016-09-10.
  6. ^ "Rio Olympics 2016: Bahrain's Ruth Jebet wins 3,000m steeplechase". BBC Sport. 15 August 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  7. ^ Ruth Jebet New World Record Women's 3000m Steeplechase | Paris Diamond League. Retrieved on 2016-09-10.
  8. ^ Olympic champion Jebet breaks steeplechase world record. Retrieved on 2016-09-10.
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-17. Retrieved 2016-08-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ CNN, Idris Muktar and Bryony Jones. "Ruth Jebet: Trading countries in the pursuit of Olympic gold". CNN. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  11. ^ "Olympic steeplechase, high jump champions face doping charges". 2018-07-20.

External linksEdit

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

August 27, 2016 – July 20, 2018
Succeeded by
Beatrice Chepkoech