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Olympics / Team USA

Evan Jager Wins Silver in Steeplechase; Cabral 8th

Evan Jager set the pace most of the race in the men’s 3000m steeplechase, and held on for silver, earning the United States’ first medal in the event since 1984. Glastonbury’s Donn Cabral finished eighth.

Jager jumped out to a quick and early lead, always running with whoever was brave enough to stick with him in the starting pack. For the majority, it was Jager, Conseslus Kipruto and Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya setting the pace. Kipruto and Kemboi began to distance themselves in the final lap, but Jager had a lot more in the tank, overtaking Kemboi with the second to last obstacle, and nipping the heels of Kipruto. If the race was even any longer, it was possible that Jager would’ve stopped the Kenyan from earning the nation’s ninth consecutive gold medal in the event.

Cabral’s finish didn’t surprise many, especially considering that he finished in eighth in London four years ago. He was way behind for the most of the race, well behind the leading pack, and at the tail end of the trailers. However, Cabral was able to counter later on with his trademark late kick, the same strategy that allowed him to turn on the jets in the last 200m of the U.S. Olympic Trials and sneak on the team as the third qualifier. That late kick allowed him to finish in ninth. After Kemboi was disqualified for going outside of the track near the water barrier, Cabral was bumped up a spot.

One disappointing fact for Cabral is that he didn’t hit his personal best in the games, missing it by nearly two seconds during his best in Rio. He also ran slightly slower in the final than he did in the qualifiers, which could easily give him the feeling going away from the games that he didn’t do everything in his power to reach the podium.

The race will mark the end of another Olympic journey for both Jager and Cabral. Both are likely going to go for another Olympic cycle, considering that Jager is only 27, and Cabral 26. These two have helped usher on the rebirth of the distance races in America, so if they want a pipeline in the United States to begin to form, their performances, along with teammate Hillary Bor, are going to be necessary, going even past Tokyo.

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Dan is a Staff Writer here at with a focus on Team USA and the Rio Olympics
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