retains South American Junior crown – 7 area junior records fall
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF
4 August 2002 – Belém, Brazil – Just as happened at the inauguration of this track during the Brazilian Grand Prix in May, the “Estádio Olímpico do Pará” proved to be a magical venue for athletics, as the host nation retained its 30 year-old area leadership at the 35th edition of the South American Junior Championships that concluded last night (Saturday).
The event served as the athletics competitions of the VII South American Games, and was highlighted by the presence of Brazilian jumpers, Thiago Dias and Keila Costa.
Brazil had great success at the recent 2002 IAAF World Junior Championships in Kingston, with an historic performance that brought them home two bronze medals (provided by Keila Costa and Juliana Paula de Azevedo) and provided a total of 11 finalists.
A few weeks later in Belém, some of those athletes ratified that good form, while others bounced back from a rather forgettable Kingston.
One of those who had things to prove here was Thiago Dias. “A while ago I was on top of the world after winning the World Youth title in Debrecen, but then I got really disappointed in Jamaica. Things didn’t go well for me, and now I’m on the right track again”.
On Saturday, Dias broke the 14 year-old South American Junior record in the Long Jump, having failed to make the final in Kingston.
Thiago opened the competition with a mark of 7.60 (would have been good enough for the victory), which he improved by 1cm in the 3rd round. With that re-assurance, he preserved himself for higher goals. He passed the fourth attempt, fouled the fifth, and in the last jump of the competition, leaped to 7.92m (w 0.6).
That erased the mark of 7.87 achieved by Peruvian Ricardo Valiente in the high altitude of the Andean city of Huancayo on November 14, 1987. Filled with joy, 18 year-old Dias ran an honour lap of the track wrapped in the Brazilian and the State of Pará’s flags.
Thiago, one of the greatest talents lately produced by Brazilian athletics, also took the gold in the 110 meters hurdles with 13.94. He holds the South American Junior record for this event with a 13.82 clock set at the 2002 Brazilian National Junior Championships.
On Friday 2 August , Keila da Silva Costa, won the title in the women’s Triple Jump, an event at which she became the first Brazilian female athlete to medal at a IAAF World Junior Championships in Kingston. Keila, born in Recife, State of Pernambuco on February 6th, 1983 jumped to a season’s best of 13.78 on her second attempt, establishing a Games and Championship record.
One day later, Costa erased an old record from the books (the oldest female South American Junior record), with her last attempt in the Long Jump. She entered the competition holding the national junior record of 6.33, and was obviously in good form as in the third round leapt out to 6.30. However, on her last attempt she was able to surpass the 24 year-old mark of Guyana’s Jennifer Innis with a leap of 6.37m (w. 1.4) to set a new area junior record. Innis, who later in her career competed for the United States, had held the record with 6.34m since March 28, 1978.
The good performances of Costa were a surprise for her own coach, Roberto Ribeiro de Andrade, who before the beginning of the event predicted that “Keila is in good shape. I don’t know if she will improve her triple jump mark from Jamaica (13.70m), but she is the favourite”.
The other remarkable performance came in the men’s 4x100 meters relay, where Brazil, who were 4th in Kingston, set a new area junior record (39.64 seconds). The team was composed of Eliezer de Almeida, Bruno Góes, Jorge Célio Sena and Bruno Pacheco, and improved the previous record, set in the heats of the Kingston World Juniors, by 11/100.
“We have a strong group of sprinters, and they can improve even more”, said Carlos Alberto Cavalheiro, head coach of the Brazilian Confederation.
The other medallist from Kingston Juliana Paula de Azevedo, who took the bronze in the 800 metres in Jamaica, easily won her event in Belém with a 2:06.01 clocking.
On the final day, 4 more area records fell.
Sprinter Bruno Nascimento Pacheco, fifth in Kingston, took the gold in the 200 metres in a record time of 20.54 (w 1.1). In this case, the old mark was also the oldest record in the men’s lists. Panama’s Héctor Daley’s record 20.67 had been around since June 15, 1980.
In second place in this event, came an athlete from the Netherlands Antilles, Churandy Martina, who competing as an invitee set a national junior record with 20.81, after having also won the earlier 100m in 10.42 and setting a new national mark of 10.30 in the heats.
Another finallist from Kingston, Argentina’s Fabián Di Paolo produced his country’s only gold medal in the whole men’s programme.
Di Paolo fourth in Jamaica, took the victory in the 6Kg Hammer, also improving the South American Junior record, when releasing the implement to 73.69m. The previous best also belonged to Di Paolo, who had thrown 73.29 in Santa Fe on June 29.
Every major championship is closed with relays, and here in Belém the 4x400 took the honours.
The women’s 4x400 was taken by Brazil (Juliana Azevedo, Amanda Dias, Raquel da Costa, Ana Cláudia de Souza), in a new South American record of 3:40.56, while the men’s long relay saw a massive improvement of almost 2 seconds to the area’s top performance, when local boys Diego Venâncio, Luís Eduardo Ambrósio, Thiago Chyaromont and Luíz Eduardo da Silva stopped the clock in 3:06.68.
Belém brought an all-around victory for Brazil, who swept the medal board with 33 gold, 14 silver and 17 bronze medals, followed by Argentina with 5, 5, 5, and Venezuela with 4, 11 and 7.
100m: Churandy Martina AHO 10.42 (Bruno Pacheco BRA 10.50); 200m: Bruno Pacheco BRA 20.54* AR-j; 400m: Luís Eduardo Ambrósio BRA 46.51; 800m: Cristian Matute ECU 1:50.99; 1500m: Clayton Aguiar BRA 3:53.48; 5000m: Fernando Alex Fernandes BRA 14:13.29*; 10000m: Franck de Almeida BRA 29:39.25*; 3000m St: Fernando Alex Fernandes BRA 8:59.76; 110mh: Thiago Dias BRA 13.94*; 400mh: Raphael Fernandes BRA 52.85; HJ: Fábio Baptista BRA 2.07; PV: Fábio da Silva BRA 5.10*; LJ: Thiago Dias BRA 7.92* AR-j; TJ: Leonardo dos Santos BRA 15.97; SP (6Kg): Gustavo de Mendonça BRA 17.71; DT (1.75Kg): Gustavo de Mendonça BRA 52.78*; HT: Fabián Di Paolo ARG 73.69* AR-j; JT: Júlio César de Oliveira BRA 63.49; Dec (Jr implements): Fagner Martins 6626*; 4x100m: BRA (Eliezer de Almeida, Bruno Góes, Jorge Célio Sena, Bruno Pacheco) 39.64* AR-j; 4x400m: BRA (Diego Venâncio, Luís Eduardo Ambrósio, Thiago Chyaromont, Luíz Eduardo da Silva) 3:06.68* AR-j; 10000mW: Rafael Duarte BRA 43:11.39.
100m: Thatiana Ignácio BRA 11.57*; 200m: Wilmary Álvarez VEN 23.85; 400m: Yusmely García VEN 54.38; 800m: Juliana Paula de Azevedo BRA 2:06.01*; 1500m: Eliane Pereira BRA 4:33.19; 3000m: Nadia Rodríguez ARG 9:50.03; 5000m: Nadia Rodríguez ARG 17:08.23; 3000m St: Sabine Heitling BRA 10:52.77; 100mh: Janaína Sestrem BRA 13.94; 400mh: Yusmely García VEN 58.54*; HJ: Mônica de Freitas BRA 1.74; PV: Karla Rosa da Silva BRA 3.90*; LJ: Keila Costa BRA 6.37* AR-j; TJ: Keila Costa BRA 13.78*; SP: Ahymará Espinoza VEN 13.97; DT: Roberta de Oliveira 41.85; HT: Jennifer Dahlgren ARG 55.73; JT: Maria do Carmo Ramos 45.31; Hep: Soledad Donzino ARG 5139; 4x100m: BRA (Mônica de Freitas, Alessandra Joaquim, Evelyn Carolina dos Santos, Thatiana Ignácio) 45.30; 4x400m: BRA (Juliana Azevedo, Amanda Dias, Raquel da Costa, Ana Cláudia de Souza) 3:40.56* AR-j; 10000mW: Alessandra Picagevicz BRA 50:34.59*.
* Record of the South American Junior Championships.
Full results at: http://www.cbat.org.br/competicao/sulamericano/default.asp