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April 18, 2024
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American Elle St. Pierre Wins Gold at World Indoor Championships

On Saturday, March 2, Elle St. Pierre threw down an electrifying kick to beat two-time world champion Gudaf Tsegay for gold at the 2024 World Indoor Championships. Running for Team USA, St. Pierre won the women’s 3,000 meters in 8:20.87, breaking the American record and championship record. Ethiopia’s Tsegay finished second in 8:21.13, and Beatrice Chepkoech ran a Kenyan national record when she placed third in 8:22.68, rounding out the podium of a thrilling race at Commonwealth Arena in Glasgow, Scotland.

The event began with Tsegay setting an aggressive early pace. With the 5,000-meter world record-holder out in front, Chepkoech, St. Pierre, and Jessica Hull of Australia followed. Running patiently, St. Pierre maintained contact in fourth place for much of the race. Together, the pack passed through the first 1600 meters in 4:29.

By 2,000 meters, the top four created a gap between the rest of the field. With two laps remaining, Tsegay attempted to break away from her rivals but she couldn’t shake Chepkoech and St. Pierre, who looked ready to strike at any moment.

At the bell, St. Pierre began to make her move to the front. To the cheers of a roaring crowd, the 29-year-old passed the Olympic bronze medalist on the homestretch. St. Pierre is the first American in history to win gold in the event. She is now No. 3 on the world all-time list two years after earning silver at the 2022 World Indoor Championships.

“It’s a dream come true,” St. Pierre told reporters after the race. “I don’t think it’s fully sunk in quite yet, but it feels amazing to be here with my family and my teammate, Emily [Mackay], and my coach in Scotland.”

world athletics indoor championships glasgow 2024 day two

Ross MacDonald – SNS Group//Getty Images

In the mixed zone, St. Pierre said she expected a fast race but knew she could use her miler speed to close well if she put herself in position with the leaders, and that’s exactly what she did.

The victory took place two days before her son, Ivan, celebrates his first birthday. St. Pierre said not racing much last summer allowed her to build up mileage, resulting in a stunning postpartum comeback. “Having a baby has only made me stronger,” she said.

St. Pierre’s increased strength was evident three weeks prior to the World Championships. At the 2024 Millrose Games on February 11, the two-time world indoor medalist broke her own American record when she won the women’s Wanamaker mile in 4:16.41.

With the 2024 Paris Olympics fast approaching, St. Pierre looks poised to make a major leap from her 10th-place finish in the 1500 meters at the Tokyo Games.

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Taylor Dutch is a writer and editor living in Austin, Texas, and a former NCAA track athlete who specializes in fitness, wellness, and endurance sports coverage. Her work has appeared in Runner’s World, SELF, Bicycling, Outside, and Podium Runner.

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