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Area record allows South American teams to close in on Olympic relay places

A South American 4x100 record for Brazil's women could seal their ticket to Athens.

The 4x100 Brazilian National team moved closer to the 2004 Olympic Games (Top 16 teams based on best two scores) by lowering the Area record to 42.97 on Saturday 11 July in Bogotá (2600m of altitude), at the last stop of the South American Grand Prix.

The team composed of Rosemar Coelho Neto, Kátia Santos, Luciana dos Santos and Lucimar de Moura smashed the previous mark of 43.42, that had been set by Colombia at the 1995 World Championships in Goteborg.

Now dependent upon other recent results Brazil should stand at 8th place on the Olympic Relay Qualification lists with a combined time of 86.46 (42.97 in Bogotá and 43.49 in Barquisimeto on 26 June).

The Colombian team also placed itself in the “Olympic Zone” by improving the old record as well. The team composed by Melisa Murillo, Felipa Palacios, Darlenis Obregón and Digna Luz Murillo, clocked 43.03. Now the combination of their 2 best times is 86.49 (they had also ran 43.46 in Barquisimeto), which would place the “Cafeteras” in the 9th place of the Olympic Relay Qualification lists.

In other remarkable performances in Bogotá, Panamanian Irving Saladino improved his own National record in the Long Jump to 8.12m, while Brigitte Merlano ran 13.41 in the women's 100 metres hurdles, to improve to Colombian national record.