Brazil’s Jucilene de Lima produced the most significant performance of the Grande Premio Brasil Caixa Governo de Para, an IAAF World Challenge meeting which took place at the Mangueirao Stadium in Belem on Sunday (10), as she won the javelin with a national record of 61.99m.
The 23-year-old de Lima, born in Paraiba, unleashed her best effort in round four, bettering by one centimetre the record that she had shared with Sueli dos Santos. Dos Santos, who has been the Brazilian record-holder since 1987, improved the national mark several times with the new and old javelin models until leaving it at 61.98m in 2000.
De Lima had equalled that performance in June last year, but this season she had already shown that the record was under threat. Proof of that was her 61.71m victory at the Ibero-American Championships in Sao Paulo earlier this month.
Her series in Belem was also consistent: 59.17m, 58.56m, foul, 61.99m, 59.60m and foul.
De Lima has been successful as a junior athlete, setting the South American junior record in 2009 (56.75m), while also reaching the finals of the 2007 World Youth Championships, where she finished 10th, and the 2008 World Junior Championships, where she finished 11th.
Now she seems ready for higher goals.
Colombian athletics has shown significant progress in the region over the past few years, mostly through Caterine Ibarguen, the 2013 world triple jump champion.
But Ibarguen isn’t the only Colombian athlete contributing to that evolution. In Belem, Yosiri Urrutia continued her strong form by taking the victory in the triple jump, while Rafith Rodriguez triumphed over 800m.
Urrutia, just coming from winning the Ibero-American Championships in Sao Paulo, controlled the event in Belem with her 14.24m effort from round four.
“I was expecting a better performance,” said the 28-year-old who this season has improved to 14.58m. “But I will try to jump further in my next meet, which will be in London, at the Diamond League.”
Rodriguez had a sweet return to the stadium where he set his 1:44.31 national record in 2011. The two-time South American champion and recent gold medallist at the Ibero-American Championships was clearly superior to the rest of the field, winning with 1:45.81.
Kenya’s Job Koech Kinyor, victor in the 800m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene, was second in 1:46.05.
In another good race, Brazil’s Mahau Suguimati set a season’s best in the 400m hurdles with 49.09, his best performance on Brazilian soil, grabbing the victory over Puerto Rican Eric Alejandro by 0.02.
Brazilians had also two wins on the infield. Fabio Gomes da Silva, finalist at the 2007 and 2011 World Championships, prevailed in the pole vault with a season’s best of 5.50m, his best performance since tearing his achilles in Belem at the beginning of 2013.
“After the surgery and all the adjustments, it feels like my career is beginning again,” said the 31-year-old.
Two-time world indoor long jump champion Mauro da Silva, who is also returning from injury, similarly posted an outdoor season’s best with his 7.74m winning mark.
Also in the infield, Trinidad and Tobago’s world and Olympic finalist Cleopatra Borel won the shot put with her fourth-round 18.29m effort.
In the rest of the events that took place in Belem, Jamaica’s former world record-holder Asafa Powell won the 100m with a season’s best of 10.02. Antoine Adams of St Kitts and Nevis won the 200m in 20.79, and Brazil’s Anderson Henriques took the 400m in 45.52.
Other winners included Kenya’s John Kipkoech in the 3000m (7:56.36), USA’s Barbara Pierre in the 100m (11.29), her team-mate Tiffany Townsend in the 200m (23.17) and Ethiopia’s Buzuayehu Mohamed in the 3000m steeplechase (9:55.22).
The meeting, which always produces the largest crowds for athletics in the region, brought more than 17,000 spectators to the Mangueirao Stadium on a hot day where temperatures reached 34°C.
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF