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Competing in blustery conditions, Chaunté Lowe produced a stunning High Jump performance at the Lausitz Meeting in Cottbus on Sunday (30), where she broke the US record which had stood for 22 years.
The 26-year-old cleared 2.04m with her final attempt in front of 4000 spectators. It was her 15th jump in the competition, in which she had no opponents after 1.90m. With her world leading mark the American produced a highlight which will continue to stand as one of the best results ever achieved in the history of the Cottbus Meeting which began in 1990.
Although conditions eventually improved, the competition began in heavy rain, forcing Lowe to skip her warm-up leaps. Instead, Lowe entered the competition early, with first time clearances at 1.81m, 1.84m and 1.87m before going over 1.90m with her second attempt. Though she was alone at this point, she chose not to pass any of the following heights.
Lowe, this year’s World indoor Bronze medallist and the silver medallist from the 2005 World championships in Helsinki, went on to clear 1.93m and 1.96m also with her first attempts. She then needed two jumps to get over 1.99m and again cleared 2.01m with her first to equal her career best set four years ago.
At her second attempt at 2.03m Lowe tied the US record set by Louise Ritter in 1988, when Lowe just four years old. And then after missing twice she finally cleared 2.04m with jump number 15 in Cottbus.
Technical consistency the key
Lowe, who was seventh at the World Championships in Berlin in 2009, had shown good early form before Cottbus. She had cleared 2.00m in Kingston, then took second in Doha with 1.98m behind two-time World champion Blanka Vlasic and again jumped 1.98m when winning in Ostrava on Thursday where she beat Vlasic. The two will square off again at the Oslo Diamond League meeting on Friday 4 June.
"I've been getting more consistent at the heights and I've been able to execute my technique a lot better in training," Lowe told Universal Sports. "Before, I was strong enough and fast enough to get over the bar even if my technique wasn't that sharp. But, recently we've really been hammering down my technique. I knew that it was going to come some day, I just didn't know what day it would be."
The US record was by far the best result of the day in Cottbus. American women dominated the 400m with Ebonie Floyd-Broadnax winning with 51.86 with Natasha Hastings (51.97) and Monica Hargrove (52.05) finishing second and third. In the 800m Zahra Bouras (Algeria) clocked 2:01.43, beating Anna Balakshina (Russia/2:02.21) and Claudia Hoffmann (Germany/2:02.42).
The best men’s result came in the 1500m which were won by Kenya’s Nixon Chepseba in 3:34.50. Nicholas Kemboi (Kenya/3:34.82) and Abdelati Iguider (Morocco/3:34.99) were second and third.
Stephen Kiprotich of Kenya took the 3000m Steeplechase with 8:25.60 while second placed German Steffen Uliczka beat the qualifying standard for the European Championships with 8:26.44. Cuba’s Guillermo Martinez won the Javelin Throw with 81.21m.
Jelimo beaten by Kohlmann in Dessau
Two days earlier Britain’s Marlon Devonish had run to a narrow victory in the 200 m of the Anhalt Meeting in Dessau. He clocked 20.87 with a slight 0.3 tailwind while fellow Briton Jeffrey Lawal was second with 20.89.
Ryan Fontenot (USA) won the 110m Hurdles in 13.58 (+0.1 wind) while in the Javelin Throw Ari Mannio (Finland) achieved 82.00m and was ahead of Vadims Vasilevskis (Latvia/81.20m) and Teemu Wirkaala (Finland/80.01m).
The surprise of the day came in the women’s 800m, where Germany’s youngster Fabienne Kohlmann beat Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo. The 20-year-old Kohlmann passed Jelimo on the home straight and clocked 2:00.72 with Jelimo second in 2:02.28.
Linda Stahl (Germany) won the Javelin Throw with 62.65m from Maria Abakumova (Russia/62.04m).