Brazil’s Darlan Romani produced the highlight of the second day of track and field at the Pan-American Games in Lima on Wednesday (7) by winning the shot put with a Games record of 22.07m.
On another cool, cloudy and humid evening in Lima (the session started at 17C), six finals took place at the Estadio de la Videna.
The 28-year-old from Concórdia had a conservative start with 20.81m and 20.92m from his first two attempts. Canada’s Timothy Nedow, silver medallist in 2015, was in second place after opening with 20.47m. In round three Romani reached 21.19m, and followed it with 21.16m and 21.54m.
The final round of throws was impressive. Mexico’s Uziel Muñoz improved to 20.56m and was temporarily second until USA’s Jordan Geist reached 20.67m in the very next throw. Nedow followed with his best attempt of the day, 20.48m, but it wasn’t enough to move back into a podium position. Meanwhile Romani, already the champion, unleashed his best throw of the day – 22.07m – to confirm his dominance. Muñoz’s bronze was the first ever medal won by a Mexican at this event.
Romani, world ranked No.3, obtained Brazil’s first ever shot put gold medal in the history of the Games. Heading into the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, the Brazilian is having an impressive season after improving the South American record to 22.61m, winning his second South American title (also in Lima) and now adding – so far – the biggest victory of his life.
“It wasn’t an easy week for me,” said Romani. “I had a throat infection upon my arrival into Lima, perhaps because my trip was almost 29 hours long. My wife came to Peru to take care of me, and for a moment I didn’t think I was going to be able to compete; even more to win. I was moved from the athletes’ villa to a hotel to rest better and to avoid passing my infection to other athletes. I took an antibiotic, and I fought hard. I was able to throw over 22m again, so now this is a very gratifying moment.”
Warner wins high class decathlon
Canada’s Olympic bronze medallist Damian Warner became the first man to retain a Pan-American decathlon title, achieving an emphatic victory with a score of 8513. Warner, world ranked No.2, was the overnight leader with 4490, 30 points up on his day-one score from 2015.
The 29-year-old, who tops the 2019 world list with 8711, started the second day well with 13.68 (-0.6m/s) in the 110m hurdles, followed by 48.82m in the discus, his best ever throw within a decathlon. He was some way below his best in the pole vault, clearing just 4.40m, but a 59.48m throw in the javelin kept him on course for victory. Warner finished the 1500m in second place behind Cuban Leonel Suárez, the 2011 champion, in 4:38.31.
Two well-ranked athletes completed the podium. Grenada’s Lindon Victor, world ranked No.6, was second with 8240 and Canada’s Pierce Lepage, world ranked No.7, was third with 8161.
Thompson and Rodgers triumph over 100m
Jamaica’s double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson came to Lima on a mission and comfortably won the 100m title in 11.18 (-0.6m/s). The 27-year-old, who leads the world list with 10.73, dominated the race from the start and became only the second Jamaican to win the event at these Games. Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye was second in 11.27 and Brazil’s Vitória Rosa was third in 11.30.
USA’s Mike Rodgers delivered the first medal of the Games for the USA by taking the men’s 100m title in 10.09 (-0.5m/s). The 34-year-old, world ranked No.6 and two-time finalist at the IAAF World Championships, upset Brazil’s Paulo André de Oliveira in the closing stages of the race. De Oliveira clocked 10.16 while Antigua and Barbuda’s Cejhae Greene completed the podium (10.23). The last US man to win the 100m title was Bernard Williams 20 years ago in Winnipeg.
Echevarría takes long jump crown
Juan Miguel Echevarría brought the men’s long jump title back to Cuba. The world indoor champion found a tough opponent in Jamaica’s Tajay Gayle.
The 20-year-old Echevarría opened with 8.09m, but Gayle responded with 8.17m in round two. Echevarría jumped 8.06m in round three, while Gayle recorded 8.10m. In the fourth round, however, the Cuban leapt to 8.27m, which proved sufficient to win as Gayle fouled his last three attempts. Uruguay’s Emiliano Lasa was third with 7.87m, retaining the bronze medal he earned in 2015.
The last Cuban to win the Pan-Am Games long jump title was multiple world champion Iván Pedroso, who won his third consecutive Pan-Am title in 2003.
Jamaica’s Natoya Goule took the women’s 800m title in 2:01.26. Goule controlled the race at 400m (1:00.10) and was the strongest on the second lap, holding off the challenge from Cuba’s Rose Mary Almanza (2:01.64) and Uruguay’s Deborah Rodríguez (2:01.66).
Trinidad and Tobago’s Tyra Gittens leads the heptathlon with 3766 points after clocking 13.63 in the 100m hurdles, clearing 1.83m in the high jump, throwing 13.43m in the shot put and running 24.19 in the 200m. Cuba’s Adriana Rodríguez is currently second with 3730 ahead of USA’s Annie Kunz (3613).
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF