The Ecuadorian city of Cuenca, the hometown of Jefferson Pérez was the venue of the XVI edition of the South American Race Walking Championships on 15-16 March, and in spite of its 2561m of altitude, some good performances were produced, especially by Colombian athletes.
Luis Fernando López (COL) took the 20Km event in 1:24:38, followed by local Rolando Saquipay, who competed in Cuenca coming from his fourth place in at the IAAF Challenge of Chihuahua on 8 March. Saquipay’s time was 1:25:41, while another Colombian, James Rendón was third in 1:27:07.
Colombia won the team competition due to the sixth place of John García and will be sending a team to the 2008 IAAF World Race Walking Cup that will take place in Cheboksary, Russia, on 10-11 May.
Pérez, the 3-time World champion and 1996 Olympic champion and winner of the event in 2006 in Cochabamba, wasn’t scheduled to compete.
At the loop placed in the traditional “Avenida España” in downtown Cuenca, Colombian Sandra Zapata triumphed in the women’s 20Km in 1:39:02, over Ecuadorians Jhoana Ordóñez (1:39:27) and Janeth Guamán (1:40:25). Zapata had finished third in 2006 in Cochabamba.
The Ecuadorian team, with the fourth place of Miriam Ramón (1:40:26) will also be sending their squad to the World Cup.
The 50km was a total Ecuadorian affaire, and the victory went to Mesías Zapata, who had finished fourth in 2006, in 4:15:26. Compatriots David Guevara (4:33:33) and Edwin Ochoa followed (4:34:55).
In the junior events, Colombians Julián Rondón (U20) and Alexander Castañeda (U18) won over 10Km in 45:07 and 46:50 respectively. At the girls events, another Colombian, Anlly Pineda won the U20 10Km in 49:12, while Ecuadorian Ximena Sangoquisa took the U18 5Km in 25:39.
XVI South American Race Walking Championships
Cuenca, 15-16 March
1 Luis Fernando López COL 1:24:38
2 Rolando Saquipay ECU 1:25:41
3 James Rondón COL 1:27:07
4 Pavel Chihuán PER 1:28:56
5 Mauricio Arteaga ECU 1:29:04
1 Mesías Zapata ECU 4:15:26
2 David Guevara ECU 4:33:33
3 Edwin Ochoa ECU 4:34:55
Junior 10Km (15)
1 Julián Rendón COL 45:07
2 Ricardo Loján ECU 45:47
3 José Montaña COL 46:06
Youth 10Km (16)
1 Alexander Castañeda COL 46:50
2 Caio Oliveira Bonfim BRA 47:00
3 José Fernández ECU 48:26
1 Sandra Zapata COL 1:39:02
2 Jhoana Ordóñez ECU 1:39:27
3 Janeth Guamán ECU 1:40:25
Junior 10Km (16)
1 Anlly Paola Pineda COL 49:13
2 Claudia Cornejo BOL 49:22
3 María del Pilar Rayo COL 49:41
Youth 5Km (15)
1 Ximena Sangoquisa ECU 25:39
2 Kimberley García PER 25:51
3 Wendy Cornejo BOL 26:03