Rio de Janeiro, Aug 15 (IANS) India’s Lalita Babbar finished 10th in the final of the women’s 3,000-metre steeplechase at the Rio Olympics here on Monday.
Lalita clocked nine minutes and 22.74 seconds — nearly three seconds behind her national record timing in the water and barrier race — at the Olympic Stadium.
The Maharashtra athlete was inside the top eight competitors midway and was not able to push as much as she would have liked to towards the closing laps.
She had qualified for the final as a lucky loser, managing to squeeze in among the next top eight fastest outside the top two of each heat who qualified directly.
With the feat, Lalita also became the first Indian woman to qualify for an individual Olympic track event final since P.T. Usha did so in 400m hurdles in the 1984 Games.
Meanwhile, Ruth Jebet of Bahrain claimed the gold medal after finishing the race in 8:59.75 minutes, while Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi of Kenya was second with a timing of 9:07.12.
Emma Coburn of the United States won the bronze medal in 9:07.63.
Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya finished a distant fourth with a timing of 9:16.05.