Dilshod Nazarov of Tajikistan in the hammer (AFP / Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Bragança Paulista, Brazil

Olympic champions Braz and Nazarov to highlight Brazilian Grand Prix

Olympic champions Thiago Braz and Dilshod Nazarov top the bill of the 33rd Grande Prêmio Brasil Caixa, the only Latin American stop of the IAAF World Challenge and IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge, on Sunday (8) in Bragança Paulista, in the region of Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Local star Braz returns home for his first competition on Brazilian soil in more than a year. The 24-year-old skipped the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne earlier this week due to discomfort in his feet.

“In situations like this it is better to prevent (injuries) and I decided not to jump,” said Braz, whose best mark this year is a 5.90m clearance indoors. “We are here to go for a good performance.”

In Bragança Paulista, he will face fellow Brazilian Augusto Dutra Silva de Oliveira, Argentina’s Pan American Games silver medallist German Chiaraviglio and USA’s Cole Walsh, who improved his best to 5.75m in 2018.

Nazarov has fond memories of Brazil. Not only was it where the Tajikistani thrower earned his Olympic gold medal, he also competed in Brazil for four consecutive years between 2009 and 2012 and set a then PB of 79.28m in his second competition on Brazilian soil back in 2009.

On Sunday the 36-year-old will hope to better 78.18m, his farthest throw of the season so far, and will face world finalist Pavel Bareisha of Belarus and Brazil’s South American record-holder and Olympic finalist Wagner Domingos.

The event is the only South American stop of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge. Nazarov, who has finished in the top five in the challenge standings since its inception in 2010, is currently fourth on the 2018 table.

Close battles are expected in the women’s 100m and the men’s triple jump. The former features South American record-holder and world finalist Rosangela Santos against Jamaica’s Schillonie Calvert-Powell, a 4x100m world champion in 2013 and a 10.94 performer at her best.

But despite their credentials, Vitória Claudia Rosa will start as the slight favourite. Winner of the 200m at the South American Games last month, the 22-year old broke the South American U23 record with 11.03 in Guadalajara, Spain, on Thursday.

In the men’s triple jump, Almir dos Santos will make his first competitive appearance at home since taking silver at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 in March. On Sunday, he will meet world finalist Cristian Napoles of Cuba and USA’s Chris Carter, twice a World Indoor Championships finalist.

Other top international names include Trinidad and Tobago’s world 4x400m champion Deon Lendore, USA’s triple jump world leader Tori Franklin, and Jamaica’s world indoor shot put silver medallist and Commonwealth champion Danniel Thomas-Dodd.

Shot putter Darlan Romani, who broke his own South American record earlier this year with 21.95m, and two-time Olympic finalist Geisa Arcanjo will also be in action.

Those more seasoned athletes will be joined by a new generation of up and coming local athletes, especially 19-year-old Paulo André Camilo de Oliveira, who became the second fastest ever Brazilian man in 100m after his 10.06 clocking in Madrid on 22 June. He made his IAAF Diamond League debut in Paris on 30 June and finished fifth over 200m in Lausanne on Thursday.

A total of 16 events and two 100m for para-athletes will be contested, featuring close to 130 athletes from 25 countries. Admission is free.

Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF