August 7, 2012
Former CSU standout Janay DeLoach needed only one jump Tuesday to earn her spot in the finals of the women's Olympic long jump.
Janay DeLoach has passed her first London test in her quest to win Olympic gold.
DeLoach, the former CSU All-American, had the second-best qualifying mark Tuesday in the first round of the women’s long jump. DeLoach jumped 22 feet, 3 inches to earn a spot among the top 12 advancing to Wednesday’s finals.
Shara Proctor, competing for Great Britain, had the day’s best jump at 22-4, beating DeLoach’s mark by less than one inch. Karin Mey Melis of Turkey was third, while Elena Sokolova of Russia was fourth.
American Brittney Reese, ranked No. 1 in the world coming into the Olympics, barely qualified for the finals in 10th place at 21-5. Fellow American Chelsea Hayes did not qualify.
DeLoach, who finished second at the World Indoor Championships in March, hit her mark despite jumping into a headwind; she took only one of her three available jumps. She said she loved the long jump runway in London.
"The track's really fast, so I'm looking forward to some pretty good jumps tomorrow," she said. "I've worked so hard to get here, and nothing's going to stop me. I'm hungry for gold."
The good news for DeLoach is that her mark Tuesday was still well short of her career-best of 23-1, achieved at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June, so she has plenty of room to improve.
DeLoach is seeking to become the first CSU graduate to win an Olympic track and field medal since Glenn Morris won the decathlon gold at the 1936 Berlin Games.
Wednesday’s finals begin at 1 p.m. MDT and can be viewed via live streaming. Each of the 12 finalists will get three jumps, after which the top eight will advance for three more jumps to determine the final standings. Tuesday’s results will not count.