Former GA Tech jumper reaches final

9:34 PM, Aug 9, 2012   |    comments
Chaunte Lowe
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LONDON - As a 28-year-old mother of two children, Chaunte Lowe's lifestyle can be exhausting.  So there's no sense in wasting energy.

The former Georgia Tech high jumper helped persuade officials at the London Olympics to halt Thursday's qualifying, and she secured a spot in Saturday's final.  "We just wanted to stop jumping," she said.

Lowe leaped 6 feet, 4 inches and was without a miss, so she was safely in.  The issue was that 14 women had cleared 6-4, and the aim was to have 12 finalists.

The seven women without a miss all passed on attempting the next height, 6-5, as did the three with one miss.  Thus, four jumped at 6-5, and the bar was cleared by world junior champion Svetlana Radzivil, who became Uzbekistan's first finalist in any event since 1996.

Since finishing sixth at the 2008 Olympics, Lowe has set an American record of 6-8 3/4 and won two world indoor titles.  So she has performed on a global stage before, but she enjoyed the sound of 80,000 people for a morning session.  "Cheering, yelling, screaming . . . I thought it was great," she said.

Also among those qualifying for the final were defending Olympic champion Tia Hellebaut of Belgium and 2011 world champion Anna Chicherova of Russian.  Hellebaut has taken two maternity breaks since becoming her nation's first gold medalist in any track and field event.

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