#RioGoldRush: Praught finishes 14th in historic run
Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Aisha Praught found the pace too hot to handle in the finals of the women’s 3000m steeplechase at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
She finished 14th out of 18 athletes in a time of 9:34.20.
The gold medal was won by Ruth Jebet of Bahrain in 8:59.75, just outside the world record of 8:58.81. Hyvin Jepkemo of Kenya took silver in 9:07.12 with Emma Coburn, 9:07.63, winning the USA’s first medal in the event, which was being contested for the third time at the Olympic Games.
Praught can walk away with her head held high, as she became the first Jamaican woman to make it to the final of the 3000m steeplechase.
The US-born Praught, who only last year made the decision to run for Jamaica, made the final after a successful appeal was filed on her behalf having finished eighth in her heat in a lifetime best of 9:31.75. The 26-year-old had stumbled over Ethiopia’s Etenesh Dirowho who had stopped to fix her shoe in front of the Jamaican.
Age: 26 years old
High School: Moline High School
Tertiary Education: Illinois State University
Event(s): Women’s 3000m steeplechase
Personal Best: 9:31.75
Born in the United States Praught decided to represent the country after meeting her Jamaican father for the first time at age 24.
Her biological father is reggae musician and producer Joseph Grant.
Her step father became her official guardian at age 11 and gave her his last name.
She did gymnastics and cheerleading growing up and has a black belt in Shorei Ryu karate.