With three titles apiece, Brazil and Peru were the top nations at the 26th South American Cross Country Championships that were held on Sunday (20) at the “Club Deportivo Sajonia” in the Paraguayan capital of Asunción.
Brazilians Solonei Rocha da Silva and Simone Alves da Silva took the victory in the senior races. Rocha da Silva won in a tight finish over compatriot Gládson Barbosa in the men’s event over 12Km, clocking 36:39 and 36:42 respectively. Colombian Iván Darío González was a distant third, over a minute behind the Brazilian duo.
It was the first South American title for the 28-year-old Solonei da Silva, who emerged in 2010 with PBs of 29:17.8 at 10,000m and 2:15:45 in the Marathon.
The 26-year-old Simone Alves da Silva also obtained her first South American title in a race she controlled from the very start, by clocking 27:05 over the 8Km course. Alves da Silva, second at the past São Silvestre road race (15 Km) has been the top Brazilian at long distances in 2010 while registering PBs of 9:09.41 at 3000m, 15:49.79 at 5000m, and 33:25.6 at 10,000m.
Peruvian Vilma Arizapana was second with 27:46, just ahead of Argentinean Rosa Godoy (27:53).
Junior races for Peruvians
It didn’t come as a surprise the performance of the Peruvian athletes, who won both junior races. José Luis Rojas took the men’s 8Km in 24:57, beating Colombian Miguel Amador by 30 seconds, while Alelí Aparicio surprised the favourite, Argentinean Florencia Borelli in the 6Km women’s race, beating Borelli by five seconds (21:21 to 21:26).
In the Yyouth races, it was no surprise that Brazil and Peru shared the victories. Victor Vinícius Alves da Silva won over 4Km in 12:14, beating Colombian Nelson Blanco by four seconds. And Peruvian Zulema Arenas won over 3kKm in 10:10, three seconds ahead of Argentinean Ana Ailín Funes.
All champions qualified for the 2011 IAAF World Championships, to be held in Punta Umbria, Spain, on 20 March.
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF
26th South American Cross Country Championships
Asunción, Paraguay – Club Deportivo Sajonia – 20 February 2011
Senior - 12 Km
1 Solonei Rocha da Silva BRA 36:39
2 Gládson Barbosa BRA 36:42
3 Iván Darío González COL 37:48
Team: 1-BRA, 2-ECU, 3-CHI
Junior (U-20) – 8 Km
1 José Luis Rojas PER 24:57
2 Miguel Amador COL 25:27
3 Guilherme Santos BRA 25:49
Team: 1-BRA, 2-URU, 3-ARG
Youth (U-18) - 4 Km
1 Victor Vinícius Alves da Silva BRA 12:14
2 Nelson Blanco COL 12:18
3 Mauricio Diaz PER 12:20
Team: 1-BRA, 2-COL, 3-ARG
Senior - 8 Km
1 Simone Alves da Silva BRA 27:05
2 Vilma Arizapana PER 27:46
3 Rosa Godoy ARG 27:53
Team: 1-BRA, 2-ARG, 3-PER
Junior (U-20) – 6 Km
1 Alelí Aparicio PER 21:21
2 Florencia Borelli ARG 21:26
3 Jovana de la Cruz PER 21:38
Team: 1-PER, 2-BRA, 3-PAR
Youth (U-18) - 3 Km
1 Zulema Arenas PER 10:10
2 Ana Ailín Funes ARG 10:13
3 Lucy Basilio PER 10:13
Team: 1-PER, 2-ARG, 3-BRA