Reporting Steve Grzanich
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LONDON (WBBM) – Christina Loukas knows she has work to do Sunday in the finals of the Women’s 3-meter springboard competition in London.
The Riverwoods native finished sixth in the semifinals to advance to the medal round, but the competition is tough and China poses a very real threat.
“I’ve done every single one of my dives and I know I can do them for 9s and 9.5s,” Loukas told reporters Saturday. “I’ve done them before and I know I can do it in a meet. It’s just a matter of putting it together in the finals.”
Loukas advanced to the final at 339.750 just behind her roommate and fellow American Cassidy Krug in fifth at 345.600.
“It was a solid performance, I didn’t really miss anything but didn’t hit the dives as well as I know I can,” said Loukas as she looked ahead to Sunday. “There’s definitely room for improvement.” The final is scheduled for 1pm CDT.
Wu Mingxia of China finished in the top spot in the semifinal and moved closer to winning her record-tying sixth Olympic diving medal. She’s the odds on favorite to win the gold. Tania Cagnotto of Italy finished second and Jennifer Abel of Canada came in fourth.
This is Krug’s first Olympics and the second for Loukas, who finished ninth in the Women’s 3-meter Springboard four years ago in Beijing.
Track & Field
Another athlete with ties to the Chicago-area will also be competing for a medal Sunday in London. Evan Jager earned a spot in the Men’s Steeplechase Final after finishing second in his qualifying heat on Friday. The Algonquin-native and 2007 Jacobs High graduate finished with a time of 8:16.61 to qualify for the finals scheduled for Sunday at 3:25pm CDT.
Jager is the American record holder in the Steeplechase. Believe it or not, Friday’s finish was just his sixth time running the race. The 23-year old took up the Steeplechase on a whim after competing in 1,500-meter and 5K
“I’m very happy that it worked out in my favor as opposed to it being a very long learning curve,” Jager told the Associated Press.