German Lauro at the 2014 ODESUR Games (© Oscar Muñoz Badilla)
Argentine shot putter German Lauro brought his country their second gold medal of the athletics competitions of the 10th edition of the ODESUR Games (South American Games) by winning his specialist event in Santiago de Chile with a Games record 20.70m on Saturday (15).
Lauro, 29, from Trenque Lauquen has been one of the most consistent South American athletes at recent global events by placing at the final of the last two IAAF World Indoor Championships, the London 2012 Olympic Games and IAAF World Championships last summer.
Coming from his sixth place in Sopot just over a week ago, Lauro won his second shot title at the Games, following his success in 2006, in dominant fashion with all four of his valid throws better than his nearest rival. A distant second was Brazil’s Darlan Romani with 19.96m.
Lauro said one of his main targets for the season ahead is to try to improve his Area record of 21.26m, set last year in Doha.
Another quality result in the Chilean capital came from the men’s 200m, where Brazil’s Aldemir da Silva captured victory in 20.32 (wind -1.0 metres-per-second), a personal best and Games record.
The promising 21-year-old from Rio de Janeiro, a semifinalist at the 2012 Olympic Games, left Ecuador’s London finalist Alex Quinonez to settle for second with 20.66, while Venezuela’s Arturo Ramírez was third with 20.67.
In the first event of the third of four days of competition, Colombia’s Eider Arevalo won the 20000m Race Walk in 1:22:11.1, which was also a Games record and track personal best as well as emulating the feat of his compatriot Sandra Arenas on the opening day.
Arevalo, the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships 10,000m gold medallist and also winner at the 2014 IAAF Race Walking Challenge meeting in Chihuahua, was always in the leading pack - which passed the halfway point in 41:53.6 – and he was comfortably at the front from 16 kilometres, with only his compatriot José Leonardo Montana for company, after Ecuador’s Andres Chocho had been disqualified
The Colombian pair then worked together before deciding to race the final lap. Montana’s time in second was 1:22:14.1, a personal best.
Venezuela triumphed three times on Saturday.
National record holder Eure Yanez won the men’s high jump with 2.21m, Nercely Soto claimed the victory at women’s 200m with 23.25 (wind -0.4 mps), and the women’s 4x100m team, with Soto on the anchor leg, took the gold with 45.08. Brazil, which usually dominates at this event, didn’t enter a team.
The day was also a good one for Uruguay, as two of its athletes won the 400m hurdles races.
Andres Silva, the 2003 IAAF World Youth Championships octathlon winner, took the gold in the men’s event with a Games record 49.57 while Deborah Rodriguez set a national record with her 56.60 clocking in the women’s event.
Brazil, dominating the medal table with 10 victories to Colombia’s five, added four gold medals on Saturday.
Besides da Silva’s victory at 200m, Keila Costa won the triple jump with 13.65m (wind -1.5 mps), the men’s 4x100m team set a Games record of 38.90 and Luiz Alberto de Araujo took the decathlon with 7733 points.
Peru has collected three gold medals so far, and its third one came on Saturday through Inés Melchor at 5000m - her second after the 10,000m on Thursday - with another record time of 15:51.20.
The 27-year-old from Arequipa has been displaying great form lately. Last November, Melchor also took the 5000m-10000m double at the Juegos Bolivarianos.
Chile, the host nation, claimed its first victory of the Games when Karen Gallardo won the discus with her opening throw of 59.65m.
Paraguay celebrated its first ODESUR women’s athletics gold medal ever when Ana Camila Pirelli took the heptathlon title with a Games record of 5669 points.
Argentine Fiorella Chiappe, still only 18, was second with 5568, setting a national junior record. Chiappe, sixth at the 2013 World Youth Championships, had a fine second day setting personal bests at the long Jump and 800m and is one of South America’s best hopes for the 2014 World Junior Championships in Eugene, USA, this summer.
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF