USA triple jump champion Amanda Smock faces a tall challenge as she tries to advance to finals from tonight's women's triple jump qualifying round at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
The Melrose native is one of 34 athletes jumping at 9:45 p.m. CDT for one of twelve spots in event's final, slated for Thursday.
Smock's season and personal best mark of 46-6 1/4, recorded late this summer, ranks her #30 among the qualifying round jumpers. A top-twelve finish in the qualifying round or a mark of 47-5 would advance Smock to the finals.
The United States hasn't had a women's triple jump finalist at the World Championships since 1997, when Cynthea Rhodes placed 11th in Athens. The USA has never medaled in the event at the World Championships.
Two-time defending world champion Yargelis Savigne of Cuba is the favorite in the event. She has jumped 49-2 1/2 this year to co-lead the 2011 world list. Caterine Ibargüen of Columbia has an identical mark, made at altitude.
Track & Field News has an event preview HERE. Track statistician K. Ken Nakamura has an extensive historical reference for the event, HERE.
Live results for today's events in Daegu can be found HERE.