Gia Lewis-Smallwood placed fifth at the 2013 IAAF World Championships.
Aug. 11, 2013
MOSCOW, Russia -- Former Illinois women's track and field athlete Gia Lewis-Smallwood (1998-01) placed fifth at the IAAF World Championships on Sunday. Lewis-Smallwood's mark of 64.23m on her fourth attempt was her longest of the day.
"I'm really proud of the way Gia competed," Illinois men's head coach Mike Turk said. "So many people have doubted her in the past and it was great to see her overcome a less than stellar beginning attempt with a terrific throw to make the final eight cut. Then on round four, she hit the finish a little better and got a great result. Watching her overcome these obstacles is so much fun because every time she does, she reaches a new level of performance and, more importantly, a better understudying of herself and the sport. Its been a great ride watching her blossom over the past four years."
On Saturday, Aug. 10, Lewis-Smallwood competed in the qualifying round of the women's discus throw, where she placed seventh in her flight with a mark of 61.3m.
"Gia had an outstanding performance tonight, much better than in qualifying yesterday," Turk said. "Yesterday she threw very well in warm-ups, but her performance was a little off. So today we cut back on the number of warm-ups and tried to save as much energy as we could for the competition."
The 2001 graduate improved her placing from the 2011 IAAF World Championships, where her mark of 59.49 in the qualifying round was ninth in her flight. Her mark of 64.23m also tops her performance at the 2012 Olympic Games, where she finished eighth in the qualifying round after throwing a distance of 61.44m.
Croatia's Sandra Perkovic placed first with a mark of 67.99m, followed by France's Melina Robert-Michon (66.28m) and Cuba's Yarelys Barrios (64.96m).