A national record and five championship records were set at the 36th Brazilian Championships, which took place on 9-11 June at the Arena Caixa in São Bernardo do Campo near São Paulo.
Perhaps sprinter Aldemir Gomes da Silva Júnior produced the performance of highest quality by winning the 200m in 20.15 (1.3m/s), setting a championship record and personal best. The Rio de Janeiro sprinter moved to seventh on the South American all-time list and bettered the 20.16 championship record set by Bruno de Barros in 2011.
The 25-year-old Gomes da Silva finally seems to be reaching his potential, by improving his best of 20.32 set in 2014. “Beyond working on my physical preparation, I also had to review my psychological approach," he said. "That seems to be working very well.”
In a solo effort, Altobeli Silva won the 3000m steeplechase in 8:26.06, bettering the 25-year-old championship record set by his coach, Clodoaldo do Carmo (8:27.88). Altobeli, an Olympic finalist last year, was chasing the World Championships qualifying standard and went out with extreme determination, passing 1000m in 2:47.19 and 2000m in 5:39.61 en route to a personal best.
“I ran like a child, without worrying about anything. I am very pleased to reach such a quality time," said the 26-year-old Altobeli, who also won the 5000m in 13:46.72.
In the 400m hurdles, Márcio Soares Teles also set a championship record with 48.94, bettering the mark set 17 years ago by Eronilde de Araújo (49.05). Teles improved from 49.09, becoming the fifth South American athlete to better 49 seconds. With only four years in the sport, Teles is showing good potential.
“Now I will head to Europe to find some good races,” said Teles, who is coached by Evandro De Lazari. Hederson Estefani, who was second, also improved his personal best to 49.13.
Another Olympic finalist, race walker Caio Bonfim, also displayed his quality on the roads of São Bernardo do Campo, bettering his own championship record to 1:21:25. Bonfim, fourth over 20km and ninth in the 50km at last year's Olympics, decided to put on a good performance, even without strong rivals. Caio, who won his fifth national title, passed the 10km mark in 41:33.
Another Olympic finalist, Érica de Sena, won the women's 20km in 1:37:34. Married to Ecuadorian race walker Andrés Chocho, De Sena travelled back to Cuenca, Ecuador, after the race.
“We will complete our preparation for London in high altitude in Font Romeu, France, just like last year, prior to Rio,” said de Sena. Bonfim will also do high altitude training prior to London, but in Sierra Nevada, Spain.
The final championship record bettered was also the only national record of the event. In the hammer, Mariana Marcelino improved to 67.02m with her first throw, erasing her own national mark of 66.64m set in Zagreb last month.
“I’m happy with my record,” said the 24-year-old. “I have had great improvement, but I can do better. I still have some problems with the fourth turn of my throw.”
Braz ties first place
Olympic pole vault champion Thiago Braz da Silva hasn’t had a happy return to competition in his homeland. After finishing second to Augusto Dutra de Oliveira at the Brazilian Grand Prix event on 3 June with 5.40m, Braz felt a twinge in his right calf and only managed 5.52m to tie with Dutra for first place.
Braz struggled at his first height (5.42m) and cleared on his third attempt. He then followed with second attempt success at 5.52m before calling it a day after his first miss at 5.62m.
“I felt a slight pain at my calf after my first jump, but I don’t think it’s anything serious,” said Braz, 23. “I continued in the event hoping to score some good points for my club (EC Pinheiros). Now I head back to Italy to train with my coach Vitali Petrov. I really want to win a medal in London.”
Two South American U20 records
After the effort of hosting the first Olympic Games in South America, Brazil may start to see the effects of that milestone in the younger generations. Sprinter Paulo André Camilo de Oliveira won the 100m in 10.18 (0.5), bettering the South American U20 record. Daniel Ferreira do Nascimento repeated the exact same feat at 10,000m with 29:13.34 (14:36.1 at 5000m).
Other quality performances were delivered by Thiago André, 800m winner in 1:44.81; Darlan Romani, 20.56m in the shot put; and Wágner Domingos, the hammer winner with 73.82m.
Standouts on the women’s side included Rosângela Santos, winner of the 100m in 11.20; Núbia dos Santos, who reached 14.56m to win the triple jump; Laila Ferrer Domingos, who threw 62.52m to win the javelin; and Tamara de Sousa who tallied 6040 to win the heptathlon.
Continuing its preparation for the 2017 World Championships in London, the Brazilian team will now contest the South American Championships, which will take place in Asunción, Paraguay, on 23-25 June.
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF