Bahraini champion Winfred Yavi confident on breaking women’s world record
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain’s world champion Winfred Yavi remains confident in her ability to set a new world record in the women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase, as she continues to add major accolades to her young but already sensational career.
Winfred edged current world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya to win her maiden Diamond League title Saturday night in World Athletics’ toptier annual series.
The 23-year-old Bahraini had a spectacular victory at The Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, in the US, the 2023 Diamond League final, where she held off a stiff challenge from Chepkoech over the race’s final two laps.
Winfred applied a decisive final kick down the home straight to win with an ultra-quick time of eight minutes 50.66 seconds.
Her finishing mark was not only the second-fastest time in history, but it was also the world lead, a new Asian record, a new meeting record, and her new personal best. Winfred now continues to keep an eye on breaking Chepkoech’s all-time record of 8:44.32, which she clocked in 2018.
“I didn’t expect I did the second-fastest time,” Winfred said after her race. “It gives me m o re p owe r, like I can do better than this ,” she added. “To see the world record holder behind me, I feel like I can even do the same thing like her.”
With her triumph , Winfred claimed her first-ever Diamond League title just weeks after becoming a world champion, and she will now be leading a 34-strong Bahrain athletics team at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, starting later this month.
Winfred is scheduled to compete in both the women ’s 3,000m steeplechase and the women’s 1,500m at this year ’s Asiad.
A double gold would be the perfect ending to a sensational 2023 campaign, and as she looks forward to the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.
Winfred credits her remarkable success this season to her hard work behind the scenes.
“I’m so happy, I’m excited at the same time,” she said. “I think this year has been precious, it has been so far good to me this year.
“Behind the scenes I’ve been working hard, I’ve been sacrificing a lot, training hard, doing a lot of strength training. I used to do a lot, but something different than last year, so I think I got a big improvement this year.”
Winfred was the lone Bahraini to have qualified for this year’s Diamond League final.
Athletes score points at various Diamond League meetings throughout the season to earn qualification for the grand finale, where they will vie for the Diamond Trophy and come away with a first prize of $30,000 in their discipline.
Saturday’s race marked Winfred’s third successive Diamond League final.
She became only the third Bahraini in recent years to be crowned as a Diamond League champion.
She has followed in the footsteps of fellow-elite national athletes Ruth Jebet, also in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase, and Salwa Eid Naser in the women’s 400m.