By Brian Bariyo Tumuramye
Peruth Chemutai has become Uganda’s first female Olympic gold medalist after winning the 3,000m steeplechase at the Olympic’s Stadium.
The 22-year-old Ugandan timed 9min 01.45sec at the Olympic’s Stadium, outsprinting American Courtney Frerichs with 250 metres to scoop her win comfortably.
Frerichs claimed silver in 9:04.79 with Kenyan Hyvin Kiyeng taking bronze (9:05.39).
Chemutai’s victory came just minutes after her Ugandan counterpart Winnie Nanyondo qualified for 1500m women’s finals in the olympics when she finished in the fourth position.
The 27-year-old athlete competed alongside 14 other challengers in the third and final heat on the Olympic Stadium track.
The starter gun went off just before 10am Tokyo time (4am Ugandan time) and the group raced for six automatic qualification slots. It was the fastest heat through the three and three-quarter laps of this event.
The star of this group was Kenyan Faith Kipyegon, the defending 1500m Olympic champion, and she made light work of the race, coming through with a time of 4:01.40.
Nanyondo crossed the line in second with 4:02.24 while Australia’s Linden Hall finished third (4:02.27).
Japan’s Tanaka Nozomi, credited for pace-making duties, was fourth and her time of 4:02.33 was a new national record. USA’s Heather Maclean (4:02.40) and Katie Snowden of Great Britain (4:02.77) took the last two automatic qualification places.