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steeplechase

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Jager takes third in Brussels finale

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Evan Jager closed his season with a third-place finish in the 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels on Friday night, the 28-year-old recovering from a late-race fall to reach the finish in 8:11.71.

On a cool, damp night in the Belgian capital, the early pace was strong, with pacemaker Haron Lagat towing the field through 1000m in 2:40.27. Soon after, as the pace began to slow, Jager moved to the front in search of his first sub-eight-minute clocking, and he led the field through 2000m in 5:24.45. Dogging his heels all along, though, was Olympic and world champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya, and Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali, who had both beaten Jager into third at the World Championships in London last month.

Approaching the bell, El Bakkali surged past Jager, then Kipruto moved around, leaving the Nike Bowerman Track Club athlete to fight it out for third. Kipruto closed in late to pass El Bakkali right by the line to win in 8:04.73, El Bakkali second in 8:04.83. Jager’s race very nearly ended at the final water jump, the American losing his footing on landing and crashing to the track, but he quickly picked himself up and summoned all his spirit and strength to outkick compatriot Stanley Kebenei to take third in 8:11.71.

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Evan Finishes Sixth in Steeple Final

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Evan Finishes Sixth in Steeple Final

After leading part of the race Monday in Beijing at the IAAF World Outdoor Championships, Evan slipped back to sixth place over the final 300 meters. The American record holder left the track disappointed, but appreciates all of the support from his friends, family and fans and looks forward to getting back out on the track soon.

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2015 World Champs Update: Evan Advances to Final

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2015 World Champs Update: Evan Advances to Final

A very conservative early pace led to a furious dash to the finish, but Evan succeeded on finishing top three, automatically advancing to the finals at the IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Beijing, China.

Evan led a few different moments in the race, always looking in control and only shifting gears over the final 70 meters of the race, passing two runners and finishing a half step behind Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto. 

Finishing second in 8:41.51, Evan now shifts his focus to the 3,000m steeplechase final, which takes place Monday morning (in the United States) at 9:15am EST. 

Full Results | IAAF World Championship Website

Letsrun caught up with Evan afterward, reviewing his race, the close finish and the final ahead.

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When and How to Watch Evan in Beijing

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When and How to Watch Evan in Beijing

The IAAF World Outdoor Championships are here and Evan is ready to race. Below are a few details to keep in your back pocket as you go about cheering on Evan in Beijing. 

Use the hashtag #JagerTime to cheer Evan on!

Prelims (Heat 1)

Date: Friday, August 21
Time: 10:35pm EST
Where to Watch: 7:30pm-1:00am EST on Universal Sports
Competition: Evan is the top entry in the field, with only Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto in the same ballpark from a seasonal best standpoint. Evan's 8:00.45 is well ahead of Kipruto's seasonal best of 8:05.20, while the third best runner in the field has only run 8:16.54 this season. The top three finishers automatically advance to the final. Fellow Americans Daniel Huling and Donn Cabral are in the second and third heat, respectively.

Final

Date: Monday, August 24
Time: 9:15am EST
Where to Watch: 7:00am - 10:00am EST on Universal Sports
Competition: After the women's 10,000m final and before the men's 100m final, the crowd should be buzzing with excitement for the men's 3,000m steeplechase final. Reigning World Champion Ezekiel Kemboi and fellow Kenyan Jairus Birech are considered Evan's chief competition (assuming everyone qualifies for the final). Kemboi has the big-race success, while Birech has proven to be the world's best steepler the past two seasons. Neither is unbeatable and the battle is set.

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Evan Jager Resets American Steeplechase Record

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Evan Jager Resets American Steeplechase Record

Despite Fall, Nike Bowerman TC Star Continues Amazing Season

Coming off a month in which he ran the world-leading time in the 1,500m and won his fourth consecutive U.S. steeplechase title, Evan Jager once again shocked distance fans around the globe, resetting his American record with an 8:00.45 performance at the Paris Diamond League - Meeting Areva.

Jager took the lead and pushed the pace in the later stages of the race. Over the final water barrier he took a sizeable lead on Kenyan rival Jairus Birech, but fell over the final barrier in the homestretch, losing his lead, but still finishing second in the second fastest time in the world this season.

“Today I proved I can compete for a top position at the World Championships,” said Jager afterward.

Despite the fall, Jager took over four seconds off his American record time and with his performance Saturday, Jager now owns the seven fastest times in American history.

8:00.45 – Evan Jager (Nike/Bowerman Track Club) – 7/4/15
8:04.71 – Jager – 9/5/14
8:05.28 – Jager – 5/30/15
8:06.81 – Jager – 7/20/12
8:06.97 – Jager – 6/11/14
8:08.60 – Jager – 6/01/13
8:08.67 – Jager – 8/15/13
8:08.82 – Daniel Lincoln (Nike) – 7/14/06
8:09.17 – Henry Marsh (Athletics West) – 8/28/85
8:09.76 – Mark Croghan (Nike) – 8/21/93

To track Evan, visit his website www.evanjager.com and follow him on Twitter @evanjager. To learn more about KIMbia Athletics, please visit http://www.kimbia.net.

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