RIO DE JANEIRO -- Former Georgia Tech athlete Chaunte Lowe finished fourth in the high jump final at the Olympic Stadium Saturday, the best finish of any American. Former University of Georgia athlete Levern Spence (St. Lucia) finished sixth.
Lowe and three other jumpers were the only ones to make it to the final round with a 2-meter bar clearance. All of the jumpers failed on their first two attempts. Lowe was the final jumper, and the other three missed their third attempt. If she had cleared it, she would have won the gold. She failed to do so, pushing her to fourth because of the two failed attempts in the third round.
Spain's Ruth Beita won the gold, missing no jumps. Bulgaria's Mierla Demireva won the silver, missing one jump. Croatia's Blanka Vlasic won the bronze, missing two jumps. She finished ahead of Lowe because she made the final round on her second attempt compared to Lowe's three tries.
Lowe cleared the bar easily on her first two attempts at the 1.88-meter bar, celebrating and waving at the crowd after each. However, Lowe, like most of the athletes, struggled to make it over the 1.97-meter bar. She grazed the bar on her third attempt to make it to the final round.
A photo posted by Chaunte Lowe Howard (@chauntelowe) on
Spencer took two attempts to clear the first height of 1.88 meters. She rattled the bar at the next height of 1.93 meters to move on to the second round, but she couldn't get above 1.98 meters. After bowing out on her first attempt and failing on the second attempt, Spencer bowed out on her last attempt, ending her night.
Lowe, Spencer and the 15 other jumpers in the final all jumped 1.94 meters Thursday to qualify.
Spencer was representing St. Lucia at her third Olympics. She was born in Castries, the nation's capital.
Spencer was the flag bearer for the tiny island country at the game's Opening Ceremony. She was also the flag bearer at the 2012 games in London.
As for Lowe, she was competing in her fourth Olympics. She was the first female track and field athlete from Georgia Tech ever to go to the Olympics.
Lowe is the American record holder in high jump.