Maribel Caicedo (left) on her way to a South American youth record in the 100m hurdles (© Diego Sinisterra / organisers)
The Colombian city of Cali, venue of the 2015 IAAF World Youth Championships, successfully hosted the 22nd edition of the South American Youth Championships (28-30 November) at the Estadio Pascual Guerrero.
Aided by the 950m of altitude of the capital of the Valle Department, Cali’s track delivered 13 meeting records, including two in events held for the first time, such as the decathlon and the mixed relay.
Once again Brazil dominated the medals table with 13 gold, 12 silver and 10 bronzes, followed by Colombia with (7, 8, 6) and Ecuador (7, 6, 3).
Top performances were provided by Venezuela’s world youth champion Robeilys Peinado, who won the pole vault with a meeting record of 4.00m, and Guyana’s Jason Yaw, who took the 400m gold in 46.79, a national youth best and meeting record.
Ecuador’s Maribel Caicedo set the only South American youth record, winning the girls’ 100m hurdles in 13.49 (1.3m/s).
Other meeting records by boys were delivered by Panama’s Arturo Deliser at 200m with 21.11 (0.0m/s), Brazil’s Daniel do Nascimento at 3000m with 8:30.85, Chile’s Diego Delmonaco at 110m hurdles with 13.55 (1.8m/s) and Ecuador’s Andy Preciado in the inaugural decathlon with 7007.
The other girls’ records were set by Colombia’s Evelin Rivera at 200m with 23.93 (1.0m/s), Colombia’s Maria Fernanda Murillo and Chile’s Camila Arrieta, both with 1.78m in the high jump with the gold going to Murillo, Brazil’s Leticia Melo with her winning leap of 6.13m (0.1m/s) in the long jump, Colombia’s Maria Alexandra Gaviria in the hammer with 64.94m and Venezuela’s Estefany Chacon with her 51.87m throw in the javelin.
Names to follow for 2015
Among those who shone at the event and have qualified for the 2015 IAAF World Youth Championships are sprint hurdler Caicedo, 3000m runner do Nascimento, and high jumpers Murillo and Arrieta.
Caicedo, who will turn 17 next year, ranks eighth on the 2014 world youth lists with her 13.49 in the 100m hurdles. Only three of the athletes ahead of her will still be young enough to compete in Cali next year.
While Murillo’s and Arrieta’s 1.78m in the high jump doesn’t feature near the top of the 2014 world youth lists, Murillo is only 15 years old.
Do Nascimento’s 8:30.85 in the 3000m was a few seconds shy of his personal best, but it was obtained at almost 1000m of altitude. His personal best of 8:26.90, set at this year’s Brazilian Youth Championships, makes him the third-fastest in the world this season of those athletes who will be eligible to compete at next year’s World Youth Championships.
Cali will be a historical event for South American athletics, since it’s the second IAAF championship event for the region, following the 2000 IAAF World Junior Championships. It will also come just before the 2016 Olympic Games, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, which will be the most important sporting event for the region.
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF