The 48th edition (38th for women) of the South American Championships begun in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, on Friday (5) and Brazil’s Thiago da Silva produced the highlight of the day by vaulting to an area record of 5.83m.
Da Silva, the 2012 World Junior Champion and still only 19 years old, improved his previous personal best of 5.60m three times.
His sequence of jumps was: 5.20-1, 5.30-1, 5.40-1, 5.50-1, 5.65-2, 5.70-1, 5.83-3, but after his record vault, he decided to call it a day.
The previous record of 5.82m had been set by another Brazilian, Augusto de Oliveira, just two weeks ago in Hof on 22 June.
“The previous night I dreamed 5.83”, commented da Silva.
“This is a great feeling because the season hadn’t been going in the way we were expecting. I had a terrible headache during the competition and I felt tired.
“However, I had a very solid day, technically speaking but I wasn’t prepared for such a height and I actually had to borrow one of German Chiaraviglio’s poles for 5.70 and 5.83.”
The warm evening offered several fine performances, besides the splendid record by da Silva. Among them was the triumph of another Brazilian: Mauro Vinícius da Silva.
championship record for the 'other' da Silva
The 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships Long Jump gold medallist grabbed the title and set a new championship record of 8.24m (+1.8) in the fifth round, as well as having three other jumps over 8.00m.
“I felt very well and my confidence is growing as we get closer to Moscow. Everything is going according to our plan. Now I have to wait to see if I will compete at the London Diamond League meet. If that doesn’t come through, I will focus only in the World Championships”, explained da Silva.
In another inspired performance, Argentina’s German Lauro came from behind to win his third South American Discus title with a 60.45m throw in the final round.
Lauro, who set a South American Shot record of 21.26m at the IAAF Diamond League, meeting in Doha only obtained the victory with his final attempt of 60.45m. “I haven’t been throwing the Discus much and the heat in the morning hours was tremendous”, said Lauro. Brazil’s Ronald Julião, the leading of the South American this year with 65.55m, was absent in Cartagena.
The sprinting events also produced some fine performances.
Ecuador’s Alex Quinonez, a 200m finalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, won the 100m in 10.22, his second best performance after the 10.09 national record he set in Medelin on 25 May.6.2
The women’s 100m title went to Brazil’s Ana Claudia Lemos Silva, who clocked 11.21.
The winners of the rest of the events on the first day were: Men - 400m: José Melendez VEN 46.31; 1500m - Jean Carlos Machado BRA 3:45.94; 10000m - Solonei da Silva BRA 29:51.79; 110m hurdles - Jorge McFarlane PER 13.61. Women - 400m: Joelma Sousa BRA 52.25; 1500m - Rosibel Garcia COL 4:15.84 (her fifth South American title at 1500m and fourth consecutive); 100m hurdles - Lina Florez COL 13.09; Discus - Fernanda Borges BRA 60.79; Hammer - Rosa Rodriguez VEN 68.38; 20,000m Race Walk - Sandra Arenas COL 1:37:4.
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF