Cuban David Giralt triple jumping in Rio (Ismar Ingber/CBAt) © Copyright
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Barrios, Giralt, Savigne, and Vili shine in Uberlândia

Cubans Yarelis Barrios, David Giralt, and Yargelis Savigne, and New Zealand’s Valerie Vili produced the best performances of the “III Grande Prêmio SESI/Caixa de Atletismo”, which took place in the Brazilian city of Uberlândia yesterday (20).

The “III Grande Prêmio SESI/Caixa de Atletismo” is one of the select group of Area meetings at which points can be acquired by athletes to qualify for the IAAF / VTB Bank World Athletics Final, to be held on 12-13 September in Thessaloniki, Greece.

In a somewhat cold evening (temperatures ranged from 17 to 14ºC), and in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 8000 at the track of the “Vila Olímpica do Sesi Gravatás”, Giralt, the 2008 World Indoor Triple Jump silver medallist captured victory with a significant performance of 17.43m (wind -0.9), a new meet record.

Compatriot Alexis Copello (17.20/-0.5) was second, and Portugal’s Nélson Évora, the 2007 World and 2008 Olympic champion was third with 16.92m (-0.1), 19cm short of his performance from Sunday (17) at the Rio de Janeiro GP where Évora opened his 2009 campaign.

“The cold weather wasn’t good for me, but I felt I was able to correct some aspects of my run-up,” declared Évora.

Giralt, also the winner in Fortaleza and Rio, was dominant once again. He opened with 16.98 (-1.0), followed with 17.43, and decided to pass his remaining 4 jumps. Copello started with 16.89, followed by 17.20, foul, and then took three passes, while Évora jumped 16.59, 16.92, 16.67, and then recorded 3 fouls. The world season leader Cuban Yoandri Betanzos (17.65), only managed one legal jump of 16.06, and 5 fouls.

Savigne equals world season lead

Cuban Yargelis Savigne, the 2007 World Triple Jump champion is taking a positive feeling from the series of Brazilian meets after triple jumping to a world leading 14.73 (-1.4) for the second time in a week. Savigne repeated her performance from 10 May in Fortaleza with the following series: 14.55/-0.4, 14.73, 14.25/0.0, 14.16/-0.2, foul, and pass.

“I’m very pleased”, said Savigne. “I showed consistency in the competitions, even in the Long Jump in Rio”, added the 24 year-old from Guantánamo.

Her compatriot Mabel Gay was second with 14.33 (-0.3), ahead of Brazilian Gisele de Lima who set a SB of 14.10 (-0.7), and the 2005 World champion, Jamaican Trecia Smith, 13.58 (-0.7).

Mikhnevich pushes Vili

Belarus Natallia Mikhnevich, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist gave Valerie Vili a good push in the Shot Put contest. Mikhnevich, who will turn 27-years-old next Monday 25 May, took the lead with a SB of 20.03m with her second effort. But after a foul, Vili reached 20.31 and 20.40 in her fourth and fifth efforts to regain the lead.

The 20.40m performance equals the fourth all-time-best for the 2007 World and 2008 Olympic champion.

Cuban Misleydis González, fourth at the Beijing Games, was a distant third with 18.85.

Barrios back to the top

Cuban Yarelis Barrios, the Discus Throw bronze medallist at the 2007 World Championships and silver medallist in Beijing, returned to victory after three competitions with a SB of 63.45m. The performance moves the 25-year-old from Pinar del Río to the fourth spot in the 2009 world lists.

Barrios left Romanian Nicoleta Grasu in second place. Grasu, who won in Rio, also had a season’s best of 63.34, while Cuban Yarisley Collado (64.10 in 2009) was third with 62.60.

In the Javelin Throw, 26-year-old Romanian Monica Stoian came 9cm short of a PB, but pulled off a great victory over the 2004 Olympic champion, Cuban Osleyidis Menéndez - 61.88 to 61.52. Another Cuban, Yanet Cruz who was also third in Uberlândia, took that spot again with a 59.69 effort.

Nazarov beats Olympic champion Kozmus

Tajikistan’s Dilshod Nazarov surprised the Hammer Throw field by taking a stunning victory over the 2008 Olympic champion, Slovenian Primož Kozmus. Nazarov, ninth in Beijing, set a national record of 79.28m, a performance that makes him the fifth best so far in the world this year.

Nazarov, the winner of the 2006 Asian Games, is also the President of the Tajikistan IAAF Member Federation. His victory and record came in his final throw. Up to that point, Kozmus was leading with a SB 78.61 from the fourth round. The 30 year-old Olympic champion only finished with 2 fouls.

Italian Marco Lingua was third with 77.59, while Poland’s Szymon Ziólkowski, the 2000 Olympic champion was fourth with a SB of 75.95.

In Uberlândia, once again, the American sprinters dominated the short races. Mike Rodgers won the 100m equaling his SB of 10.08 into a head wind of 1.0. Rae Edwards took the 200m in a 20.59 SB (wind nil), Ryan Wilson the 110m Hurdles in 13.54 (-0.7). On the women’s side, Gloria Asumnu won the 100m with a SB of 11.30/-0.3, and Debbie Dunn the 400m, also with a SB of 51.95.

In the 800m Brazilian Kléberson Davide triumphed in a slow race (55.53 at 400m) with a strong finish over compatriot Fabiano Peçanha. Davide, who this season set a PB of 1:44.67, recorded 1:47.44 in Uberlândia to beat Peçanha by 2/100.

American Keith Moffatt won the High Jump with 2.28 (=SB), with the same performance as Brazilian Jessé de Lima, who set a SB but lost on count-back.

In the remaining events, Brazilians Vanda Gomes (23.54 at 200m) and Sabine Heitling (4:25.27 at 1500m), captured the victories.

Next, the “25th Grande Prêmio Brasil Caixa de Atletismo” in Belém on 24 May, a Grand Prix status meeting as part of the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Tour, will conclude the the series of Tour events in South America.

Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF

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