High jumper soon to be back in action after giving birth to her second child
American high jump record-holder Chaunte Lowe last year had one of her best seasons to date. It started with an indoor PB of 1.98m and a bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships. During the summer she went on to twice break the US record, first with 2.04m, then with 2.05m at the US Championships. Just minutes later she ran across to the long jump pit to take silver with a PB of 6.90m – undoubtedly the best one-day jumps double in history.
Lowe was also the only athlete in the world last year who was able to consistently give Blanka Vlasic – the 2010 world athlete of the year – a run for her money. Lowe beat the world champion twice – in Ostrava and Barcelona – and matched the Croatian’s winning jumps in Rome (2.01m) and Oslo (2.03m), only losing on countback.
And in the same way her season started on a high, Lowe’s year ended on one too as she discovered that she and husband Mario Lowe, a former 16.15m triple jumper, were expecting their second child.
In April this year Lowe gave birth to daughter Aurora Elizabeth at just 4lb 9oz, her second daughter after Jasmine, who was born in 2007.
Keen to get back on track, the 2005 world silver medallist ignored doctor’s orders and was back training within a few days and even has her eye on being at the World Championships in Daegu later this year.
“The doctor said I should wait six weeks, but I don’t have that kind of time. I have no plans on not going to the World Championships”
“The doctor said I should wait six weeks, but I don’t have that kind of time,” said Lowe on Facebook. “However I did wait 48 hours, so that should count for something! I have no plans on not going to the World Championships.”
Lowe had been hoping to renew her rivalry with Vlasic at this weekend’s Diamond League meeting in New York, but with it still being less than 10 weeks after giving birth, the competition came around too soon. However, she is hopeful of a return to action at the US Championships in Eugene, Oregon, later this month.
“I am ready to jump but not everyone thinks the impossible is possible,” she said. “However I hope to be in Eugene at the end of the month.”
When Lowe gave birth to her first daughter in 2007, she returned to two-metre form within a year and finished sixth in the Olympic final. This time around the 27-year-old is operating on a tighter schedule and will need to finish in the top three at the US Championships – as well as clearing at least the ‘B’ standard of 1.92m, if not the ‘A’ standard of 1.95m – to guarantee her place on the team for the World Championships.
Only one other American – NCAA champion Brigetta Barrett – is in possession of the ‘B’ standard. But the standard of the event has dipped this year on a global level, with only five women so far bettering 1.95m outdoors and no one – not even Vlasic – jumping over two metres.
A medal in Daegu could be there for the taking if Lowe is able to recapture the kind of form that saw her break two metres on nine occasions last year. But first there’s the small matter of making the long-awaited return to action on June 24.