Lamecha Girma Takes Down Steeplechase World Record

By Citius Mag Staff

June 9, 2023

Ethiopia's Lamecha Girma took down Saif Saaeed Shaheen's 3000m steeplechase world record, which stood since 2004, with a 7:52.11 at the Paris Diamond League.

What you need to know:

– Before the meet, Girma announced that he wanted to attempt to break the record. He entered the day with a personal best of 7:58.68 from May 2022.

– Shaheen's world record was 7:53.63 set in Brussels in September 2004.

– Girma now owns two world records after running 7:23.81 for the 3000m indoors in February.

What he said afterward:

Lamecha Girma (via Diamond League flash quotes): "I'm feeling so happy. Happy and very proud. I felt so fast during the race, so confident. The world record is not a surprise. I planned to beat it tonight in Paris. It's a result of a full demonstration. Now, I'm gonna run in Ostrava but not the 3000m steeple. I will run a 1500m."

What happens next?

– Girma is still seeking his first-ever global championship gold medal. He took silver at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and last year's world championships in Eugene, Oregon. In both races, he has lost to Soufiane El Bakkali, who would like to get the world record back in Moroccan hands. El Bakkali also has world record potential with his personal best being 7:56.68 from the Rabat Diamond League meet on May 28.

Girma will race the Ostrava Golden Spike meet on June 27. His 1500m personal best is 3:33.77 from September 2020.

Lamecha Girma Steeplechase World RecordLamecha Girma Steeplechase World Record

Johnny Pace/@pacephoto

Our take:

"The crown has been passed to Lamecha Girma, and it’s up to him to inspire the next generation of future newsletter writers from Long Island, after his mark of 7:52.11 eclipsed Shaheen’s of 7:53.63, which stood since in 2004. Girma’s performance hasn’t received the same amount of attention, likely because it’s the steeplechase, and the steeplechase doesn’t exactly transcend the interest of anyone beyond the most diehard track geek. It’s easy for an exercise enthusiast to grasp just how impressive a two-mile or 5,000m is. A steeple?… not so much.

Everyone loves the idea of the oddball distance-hurdling race and is fascinated by its existence. But outside joining the crowd in chanting “CANNONBALL!” at a JV meet, even most track athletes themselves would struggle to tell you what’s a fast time. So let me confirm it for you: this is a fast time!

Only 22 years old, Lamecha has racked up a total of four global medals, though they’re all silver. Now that we know Girma can run fast, the next thing to do is run faster than everyone else when it counts most, specifically Soufiane El Bakkali." – Kyle Merber

Citius Mag Staff