20 March, 2018

3000m Steeplechase – “The Bislett Duel 2018”

It was never easy for Emma Coburn, the current World Champion at 3000m Steeplechase. She is a role model for persistence and dedication to her sport. From humble beginnings at the London Olympics, where she just managed to reach the final, Coburn has continued to develop her craft and is now sitting on top on the globe as the undisputed No.1 steeplechaser in the world and her personal best of 9:02.58 reflects her quality.

When Coburn first entered international ranks it was hard for the tall American blonde as the event was totally dominated by African athletes, however her gradual improvement has seen her progress from “field filler” to “contender” to “No.1” and all in the space of 5 swift year. 

The career of Norway's Karoline Grovdal is following a remarkably similar pattern with moderate success followed by vast improvement to put her firmly into the “contender” status.

Grovdal had experienced quantified success making the finals of both the 5000m and the 10,000m at the Rio Olympics and finishing in the top ten in both events. The native of Alesund then decided that she would see what capacity she had in the 3000m steeplechase, an event she had dabbled with as a junior athlete. 

Late last season, in the Norwegian Championships in Sandnes, Grovdal achieved a significant time of 9:13.35, which was not only a Norwegian record but put her very much on the cusp of “world class”. Most significant about this performance was that it was done without the aid of pacemakers as she pushed herself for the entire seven and a half laps. Although a very versatile athlete clearly this is now her premier event. 

The burning question remains: What is Karoline Grovdal capable of in a fast paced race, with excellent competition and a stadium full of supportive fans?

That answer might just be revealed in Bislett stadium on June 7th where Karoline Grovdal takes on the World Champion, Emma Coburn in an historic encounter at Oslo Bislett Games. Both of these tall blondes have been preparing for this event for some time and with many possible outcomes, we will witness a fantastic clash with the possibility of national records and perhaps further recognition of the continued rise to stardom of Grovdal.