Rio de Janeiro. Coming home is always sweet, but for Maurren Higa Maggi could not have been sweeter, even after winning the Long Jump at the IAAF Grand Prix Final, or placing second at the World Cup.
This weekend in Rio de Janeiro, the star of Brazilian and South American athletics highlighted the 21st Edition of the “Troféu Brasil”, the National club competition, and also considered by many as the National Championships.
Osmar Barbosa dos Santos, was awarded the best male performance of the event with his victory in the 800 metres (1:45.86).
As usual, Osmar set a very hard tempo, with a first lap in 49.1, fading then to 56.8 in the second 400m, but still good enough to beat Fabiano Peçanha by almost 3 seconds (1:48.68). Dos Santos’s time is the fastest 800m by a South American athlete this season.
Maggi, who will surely finish the year second in the IAAF World Ranking for her main event, set 2 new Championship records and took the Long and Triple Jump titles with 6.86 (the top female performance of the event) and 13.80 metres respectively.
It was the eleventh time this season that the Paulista jumper has gone beyond the 6.80 mark, topped with 2 jumps over 7 metres, with a year’s best of 7.02m achieved in Paris 2 weeks ago.
While becoming a major presence in the Long Jump, the Triple has become Maurren’s second event this year.
At the beginning of the season, Maggi improved the South American Record to 14.32m, but later, at the Ibero-American Championships in Guatemala City, in May, she pulled a hamstring muscle while warming up for this event.
That setback delayed her start in the Grand Prix season, and may have cost her the Grand Prix title.
Rio has been the last stop of Maggi’s 2002 season, and now she will take a vacation and concentrate on the preparation for next year in her quest to win a medal at the 2003 World Championships Indoor and Outdoor.
“When you train hard, the results will come. This has been a great year for me. With my coach (Nélio Moura), we have done the same preparation than every season. Nothing special, always correcting little things here and there”, said the 26 year-old Maggi.
Two other Brazilians, who represented the Americas at the World Cup, collected good victories in Rio.
Jadel Gregório improved his personal best in the Long Jump to 8.02m, and took the title from junior Thiago Jacinto Dias, who with his second place jump of 7.97m bettered his own South American Junior Record. Gregório also won his “main event”, the Triple, with a 16.89 performance, ahead of Marcelo da Costa (16.53).
Another fact that was exposed this weekend, was that the “old guard” of Brazilian athletics seems to be passing the baton to a new generation headed by Thiago Dias (18 years old), Keila da Silva Costa (19) and Bruno Nascimento Pacheco (19).
Keila took second place from Maggi in the Triple Jump with 13.71m (she was third at this event at the World Junior Championships in Kingston), and also improved her own South American Junior Record in the Long Jump with 6.46m (3rd place).
Bruno Pacheco, a finalist in Kingston, claimed the 3rd place of the podium of the 200m, by beating the 32 year-old Claudinei da Silva, in an event won by Vicente de Lima in 20.69. André da Silva took second place with 20.82. Pacheco was timed 20.98 and Claudinei 21.08.
Another remarkable veteran also saw the end of a tremendous streak of victories. Eronilde Nunes de Araújo has won the 400m hurdles title every year since 1990, but the count finished at 12, since Cleverson da Silva beat him on Sunday with a 50.94 clocking (51.36 for Eronilde).
The also 32 year-old de Araújo has suffered several injuries this season, but promises to back next year, also to defend his Pan American title (he has won the last 3 editions of that competition) in Santo Domingo, where he will face the almost-impossible-task of beating local Félix Sánchez.
This season has also seen the remarkable progress of other young faces: 22 year-old Geisa Muniz Coutinho and 23 year-old Josiane da Silva Tito.
Coutinho took the 400 metres title, beat Ibero-American Champion Maria Laura Almirão, and improved her personal best to 51.50 (ran 51.51 in the heats). After Brasil’s National Record of 50.62 by Maria Magnólia Figueirêdo, no other athlete had been able to crack the 52 seconds, and Figueirêdo herself, at the age of 38, witnessed the feat, while placing 5th in a remarkable time of 53.52.
Tito, a finalist of the 1998 Annecy World Junior Championships at 800m, had disappeared from the scene until this year. At the “Troféu Brasil” she showed tremendous progress in both the 400 and 800 metres.
At the “one lap” she took third place behind Coutinho and Almirão (52.29) with a PB of 52.68. Then, on Sunday (a very hot day), she followed another very fast pace at the 800m final (56.6 by Luciana Mendes) to chop almost 2 seconds of her previous PB, with a victory in 2:01.47. Almirão also recorded a PB (2:03.30), while Mendes paid the price of her “adventure” with only a third place in 2:04.31.
There were no National Senior Records, but a total of 7 double victories were recorded in the event. Besides those of Maurren Maggi and Jadel Gregório, Kátia Santos and Vicente de Lima won the 100 and 200m (11.77 and 23.33 for Santos and 10.44 and 20.69 for de Lima), Hudson de Souza and Fabiana Cristine da Silva took the 1500 and 5000m (3:42.71 and 13:52.15 for Hudson and 4:17.11 and 16:09.00 for Fabiana), while Elisângela Adriano won the Shot (18.23) and the Discus (59.17). Those were number 12th and 11th at each event respectively for the 30-year-old thrower.
Missing the event was one of Brazil’s main athletes of the past few seasons. 400 metres runner Sanderlei Parrela would have been the favorite in his event, but after returning to competition a month ago (46.50 at the “Troféu Norte Nordeste” in Belém), Sanderlei was sidelined by a new physical problem.
After placing 2nd at the 1999 World Championships in Sevilla, and 4th atthe 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Parrela has suffered a problem in his left Achilles tendon. He recovered from that without surgery, but now a muscular injury in his abdomen has caused him to stop his training sessions and conduct physical tests in Rio and São Paulo.
September has also witnessed the 2002 edition of the South American Race Walking Cup. The event served as a preparation for the IAAF World Cup (October 12th and 13th in Torino, Italy).
The competition was held in Puerto Saavedra, in the region of Araucanía on September 14th and 15th, and Brazilian Sérgio Galdino and Bolivian Geovanna Irusta won the main events, the 20Km. It was Galdino’s 4th victory at the Cup with 1:24:24, 2 seconds ahead of local Cristán Muñoz.
Ecuador’s Jefferson Pérez suffered a cramp in one of his quadriceps and did not finish, but hopes to be recovered in time for Torino. Pérez won this event at the 1997 edition of the Cup in Podebrady.
In the women’s 20K, Irusta took her 6th title (5th consecutive) with a time of 1:41:22, beating Brazil’s Gianetti Bonfim (1:42:23) and Venezuela’s Morelba Useche (1:43:24).
The end of the 2002 season in South America will feature 4 meets of the regional Grand Prix: October 19 in Bogotá, 26 in Caracas, 30 in Manaus and November 2 and 3 in Mar del Plata. There, the northern countries of the continent (Colombia, Guyana, Panama, Surinam and Venezuela) will approach their final preparation for the Central American and Caribbean Games, to be held in El Salvador’s capital of San Salvador, from December 2nd to 8th.
Results of the Troféu Brasil
Rio de Janeiro. September 26 to 29
100m (-2.2): Vicente de Lima 10.44; 200m (-1.0): Vicente de Lima 20.69; 400m: Flávio Godoy 46.25; 800m: Osmar dos Santos 1:45.86; 1500m: Hudson de Souza 3:42.71; 5000m: Hudson de Souza 13:52.15; 10000m: Elenilson da Silva 28:48.84; 3000m St: Celso Ficagna 8:43.91; 110mh (-1.7): Mateus Inocêncio 13.75; 400mh: Cleverson da Silva 50.94; HJ: 1 Fabrício Romero 2.23*; PV: Henrique Martins 5.10; LJ: Jadel Gregório 8.02/1.4 (2nd Thiago Dias 7.97/0.7 AR-j); TJ: Gregório 16.89/0.5; SP: Adílson Oliveira 17.78; DT: João Joaquim dos Santos 58.25; HT: Mário Leme 61.64; JT: Luiz Fernando da Silva 76.38; Dec: Édson Bindilatti 7140; 4x100m: Unoeste/Damha (Vicente de Lima, Édson Ribeiro, Claudinei da Silva, André da Silva) 39.00; 4x400m: Vasco da Gama (William da Silva, Fernando Cantarino, Flávio Godoy, Basílio de Moraes) 3:06.12; 20000m W: Sérgio Galdino 1:25:05.9
100m (-2.0): Kátia Santos 11.77; 200m (-0.6): Kátia Santos 23.33; 400m: Geisa Coutinho 51.50; 800m: Josiane Tito 2:01.47; 1500m: Fabiana Cristine da Silva 4:17.11; 5000m: Fabiana Cristine da Silva 16:09.00; 10000m: Lucélia Peres 33:30.68; 3000m St: Marily dos Santos 10:45.62; 100mh (-1.1): Maíla Machado 13.44; 400mh: Isabel Silva 57.54; HJ: Thaís de Andrade 1.78; PV: Karla da Silva 3.90* (2nd Michaela Heitkotter (85) 3.85 AR-U18); LJ: Maurren Maggi 6.86/0.9* (3rd Keila Costa 6.46/0.0 AR-j); TJ: Maurren Maggi 13.80/0.6*; SP: Elisângela Adriano 18.23; DT: Elisângela Adriano 59.17; HT: Margit Wahlbrink 57.66; JT: Alessandra Resende 52.31; Hep: Patrícia Lúcia de Oliveira 5077; 4x100m: BM&F (Maíla Machado, Vanessa Seles, Thatiana Ignácio, Kátia Santos) 45.07; 4x400m: Unoeste/Damha (Maria José Santos, Aretusa Moreira, Lucimar Teodoro, Josiane Tito) 3:36.61; 20000m W: Gianetti Bonfim 1:43:52.7
* Championship Record
Teams classification: BM&F Atletismo 686 pts, Unoeste/Damha 228, Vasco da Gama 203, São Raimundo 158