With brave front running in the middle of the race, then a strong sprint in the final straightaway, Evan Jager won the silver medal in the Olympic steeplechase final on Wednesday morning. Both Evan (8:04.28) and gold medalist Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya (8:03.28) bettered the previous Olympic record of 8:05.51.
“I’m extremely happy,” Evan told Runner’s World. “It was indescribable. It was a lot of years of hard work and daydreaming and dreaming about the moment all coming true. I didn’t know I had a medal wrapped up until 100 meters to go. As soon as I got over the last barrier, I could fully enjoy it and that was very fun.”
Evan’s is the first Olympic medal by an American man in the steeple since Brian Diemer won bronze in 1984. His silver is the best U.S. showing in the Olympics since Horace Ashenfelter won in 1952.
In perhaps the ultimate compliment, two-time Olympic and four-time world champion Ezekiel Kemboi said after the race, “One day, one time, Evan Jager from the United States will be world champion or the Olympic champion.”