Emma Coburn celebrates 3000m steeplechase victory at the US Olympic trials with the second and third placed runners ©Getty Images

Emma Coburn has certainly made a splash this week - on a rain-swept track at the US Olympic Track and Field trials she earned her Rio 2016 place with victory in the 3000m steeplechase a day after the release of ESPN’s annual Body Issue which featured her and other leading sporting figures in the nude.

The 25-year-old from Boulder, Colorado, won in 9min 17.48sec on the same track at Hayward Field, Eugene, where she set the US record of 9:10.76 on May 28 at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Diamond League meeting.

She stands third in this year’s world rankings behind the two women who finished ahead of her in that race, Bahrain’s naturalised Kenyan Ruth Jebet who ran 8:59.97 and Kenya’s Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi who clocked 9:00.1.

Courtney Frerichs finished second behind Coburn - who finished ninth at the London 2012 Games -  in 9:20.92, with Colleen Quigley claiming third place in 9:21.29.

The ESPN project features athletes in a variety of sports photographed entirely naked - but tastefully so - while mimicking the movements of their sport. 

Coburn was pictured as if clearing a hurdle with a backdrop of mountains near her home, having used a trampoline to get enough height for the shot to work.

Among the other athletes included in this year’s Body Issue are Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, wrestler Adeline Gray, former Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis, fencer Nzingha Prescod and New England Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork.

Coburn’s decision to pose naked received some criticism on social media, including this: “Here’s a fact - it’s absolutely no talent or skills to take your clothes off. 

"You think we’re wrong? 

"Ask your mother and father."

Emma Coburn clears the water jump at Hayward Field en-route to her 3000m steeplechase victory at the US Olympic Track and Field trials ©Getty Images
Emma Coburn clears the water jump at Hayward Field en-route to her 3000m steeplechase victory at the US Olympic Track and Field trials ©Getty Images

Coburn’s mother, Ann, duly tweeted back: “I am Emma’s mother. 

"Her dad and I were at the ESPN photo-shoot and she is a beautiful strong Olympian woman."

Tia Brooks, third in the world rankings for the women’s shot put with a personal best of 19.73m which won her the Birmingham Diamond League meeting last month, missed the cut for Rio by one place.

The 25-year-old from Michigan, who was 13th at last year’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing, produced her best effort in the fifth round but it was not enough to lift her into the three automatic qualifying places as the IAAF World Indoor champion, Michelle Carter, won with 19.59m ahead of Raven Saunders who threw 19.24m and Felisha Johnson who managed 19.23m.

It will be a third successive Olympics for Carter, who was 15th in Beijing and fifth in London, and is now a medal contender in Rio as she currently stands third in the world lists with 20.21m.

Victory in the women’s triple jump went to Keturah Orji with 14.32m, ahead of Christina Epps who lept 14.17m and Andrea Geubelle who recorded 13.95m.

In the men’s 200m qualifiers, former Olympic and world 400m champion LaShawn Merritt made good on his vow to double up as he went through with the third fastest time of 20.09.

Justin Gatlin advanced with 20.32.