Let’s begin with Emma Coburn’s response to the Kenyan team saying before the World Championships that they would bring the women’s steeplechase medals in Doha back to Kenya where they belong after Emma and teammate Courtney Frerichs won gold and silver in London 2017 for Team USA.
“I don’t listen to what other people say,” Coburn told NBC. “I’m focused on what I have to do and will bring my fight to the arena.”
Last night in Doha, Coburn’s fight brought her to a 9:02.35 PR to take the silver medal behind Kenyan Beatrice Chepkoech as the Kenyan star literally ran away with the gold medal in a championship record 8:57.94.
It was the third straight PR by Coburn in global event finals. She went from a 9:07.63 bronze medal at the Rio Olympics 2016 to a 9:02.58 gold in the London World Championships 2017, and now a 9:02.35 silver in Doha.
Odds are Colburn will never run the times Chepkoech has. So what are you to do about that? Accept it graciously and thank your competitors for bringing out the best in you? Or do you look for another way to get closer?
How does this play into the four-year ban announced yesterday by USADA against Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar and Houston-based endocrinologist Dr. Jeffrey Brown? Well, Alberto was never like Emma Coburn, he did pay close attention to what others said and did. And he did look for another way.