Andressa de Morais in the discus at the South American Championships in Lima (© Oscar Muñoz Badilla)
Brazil’s Andressa de Morais produced the most significant performance of the first day (24) of the 51st edition of the South American Championships at the Estadio de la Videna in the Peruvian capital of Lima.
The event, which is also the oldest area athletics championships in the world, is celebrating 100 years and will conclude on 26 May.
De Morais, the South American record-holder with 65.10m and world ranked No.3, obtained her fourth South American discus title with her 62.42m throw from round four, leaving compatriot Fernanda Borges Martins, world ranked No.9, in second place with 60.87m. De Morais was in control from her first attempt: 62.04m, foul, 57.60m, 62.42m, 61.69m, 60.58m. Argentina’s Ailén Armada was third with a personal best of 56.55m.
Brazilian athletes have dominated the women’s discus by winning 13 of the past 14 South American titles.
On a rainy and cold day in Lima (18C) at the stadium that will be the venue of the athletics competition at the 2019 Pan-American and Para Pan-American Games, Brazil was the most successful nation with 19 medals and six victories.
One of the events that suffered from the tough conditions the most was the pole vault, where the quality of competitors had presented the hope of great performances. Augusto Dutra de Oliveira, world ranked No.16, upset Olympic champion and fellow Brazilian Thiago Braz da Silva, world ranked No.12, 5.61m to 5.41m.
Dutra was solid once again, like at the Brazilian stop of the IAAF World Challenge where he also beat Braz, to secure his medal at the event. Argentina’s Germán Chiaraviglio was third with 5.21m.
The 100m titles went to Brazilian sprinters. Rodrigo do Nascimento, world ranked No.82, who ran the first leg for Brazil in their 4x100m triumph at the recent IAAF World Relays, won his first South American title in 10.28 (-0.9 m/s) ahead of compatriot Felipe dos Santos (10.43).
Vitória Rosa, world ranked No.11, took the women’s race in 11.24 (0.6 m/s) obtaining her first gold medal at the distance. Venezuela’s Andre Purica was second with 11.32.
Brazilian sprint hurdler Gabriel Constantino, who holds the South American record at 13.23 and is world ranked No.10, took his first continental 110m hurdles title in 13.54 (-0.8m/s), beating Colombian Yojan Chaverra (13.66) and fellow Brazilian and defending champion Eduardo de Deus (13.68).
Colombian Yosiry Urrutia, world ranked No.13, won the triple jump with 13.85m (0.6m/s), ahead of Ecuador’s Liuba Zaldívar (13.45). It was the first South American title for the 32-year-old Urrutia, a World Championships finalist in 2015.
Colombian Mauricio Ortega, world ranked No.15, won his third discus title with 58.89m, while Laila Domingos, world ranked No.12, grabbed her first gold medal in the javelin with 57.79m.
Génesis Romero, world ranked No.28, became the first Venezuelan to win the 100m hurdles title. Romero obtained a clear victory in 13.29 (-0.1m/s), ahead of Colombia’s Eliecit Palacios (13.49) and Brazil’s Adelly Oliveira (13.64).
Panama’s Alexander Bowen also produced another historic moment by winning his country’s first ever medal at high jump with 2.21m. The 26 year-old Bowen beat Brazil’s Fernando Ferreira, who also jumped 2.21m but on his second attempt, and Venezuelan Eure Yáñez (2.18m).
Colombia’s Anthony Zambrano, world ranked No.29, dominated the 400m in 45.53 ahead of Brazil’s Lucas Carvalho (46.12). Another young athlete, Brazil’s Tiffani Marinho, world ranked No.63, won the women’s 400m in 52.81 ahead of Colombian Lina Licona (53.18).
In the first track final of the championships, Colombian Carolina Tabares won the women’s 10,000m in 33:36.77, beating Brazil’s Tatiele de Carvalho (33:40.76) and fellow Colombian Muriel Coneo (33:43.00).
Ecuador’s Bayron Piedra took the men’s 10,000m in 28:48.13. The 36-year-old displayed his trademark speed in the final stages to win his third consecutive title at the distance. It was Piedra’s eighth continental crown, adding his victories at 1500m and 5000m. Colombian José Mauricio González was second with 28:48.60 and Bolivian Vidal Basco was third with a national record of 28:52.32, earning his country’s first medal at the distance.
Both 1500m races ended up being tactical. María Pía Fernández won the women’s race in 4:27.44, while Venezuela’s Lucirio Garrido took the men’s title in 3:55.04, the first gold medal for his country at this distance since José González Tiapa’s triumph in 1977.
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF