23old Brazilian Kléberson Davide produced the most remarkable performance of the early 2009 South American season, by setting a personal best and, so far, best mark in the world for 800m with a time of 1:44.67. Davide obtained the mark at the “2º Torneio FPA” organised by the Paulista Federation in the coastal city of Praia Grande on 4 April.
Davide had shown an impressive form in his previous competitions of the season by clocking 47.17 in 400m (21 March), and 1:45.66 at 800m (28 March), both in São Paulo, not too far from his PB of 47.03 (2007) and 1:45.47 (2007).
In the Praia Grande race, the 2007 South American champion and silver medallist of the Pan-American Games of the same year, who also participated at the 2007 World Championships (semifinalist) and 2008 Olympic Games (1st round), was paced by his Rede Atletismo teammate Fernando Lina da Silva, who passed the 400m mark in 49.2, just ahead of Davide (49.7). Lina da Silva left the race at 500m, but Davide was able to keep up his good pace, passing the 600m in 1:16.9, to win in 1:44.67, far ahead of Lutimar Paes (1:48.85).
The performance moves Davide into sixth place in the all-time South American lists behind record holder and 1984 Olympic Champion Joaquim Cruz (1:41.77), José Luiz Barbosa (1:43.08), William Wuycke (1:43.54), Agberto Guimarães (1:43.63), and Fabiano Peçanha (1:44.60) – all of them Brazilians, except for Wuycke, who’s Venezuelan.
Davide is coached by Clodoaldo Lopes do Carmo, a former South American record holder of 3000m (7:45.34 ’92) and 3000m Steeplechase (8:19.80 ’92), and Olympic finalist at the latter distance in the Barcelona Games.
“Kléberson was ready for such a performance on the São Paulo meet, a week before Praia Grande”, said Clodoaldo. “But sadly it was raining, windy, and it couldn’t happen. Saturday’s conditions were much better, the track is faster and newer than the one in São Paulo, and happily the mark was possible.”
“Now, we will head to a period of altitude training in Paipa, Colombia, where Kléberson will rest on the first week and do base and strengthen in the other three, to focus on the rest of the season which will be a long one since the World Championships are at the end of August,” added Lopes do Carmo.
“I was able to watch and share my time in the track with all those great 800m specialists that Brazil had, and if I have to compare Kléberson to one of them, I would say he is very similar to Joaquim Cruz: very explosive and naturally fast.”
“We have been working on Kléberson’s endurance, and we hope to travel to Europe after the Troféu Brasil, which will be in June, to gain experience for more important races. Last year in Beijing, Kléberson was ready to do something in this range of marks at the Olympic Games, but he faced a slow heat and couldn’t progress to the next round. Now, we hope to run under 1:44.5 and do much better in Berlin, at the World Championships,” concluded Clodoaldo.
While the 800m race at Praia Grande was at 9:15, Davide came back to the track to run 400m at 12:20, to also take the victory in 47.17 sec.
At the “2º Torneio FPA”, Anselmo Gomes da Silva and Fabiana Morães ran the high hurdles in 13.76 and 13.43 sec respectively, obtaining the best performances along with Lucimar Teodoro (57.63 in 400m hurdles), and Olympic finalist Keila Costa (6.49/0.0 in Long Jump).
The best marks recorded in previous meets in Brazil were a 10.16/1.8 100m clock by Bruno de Barros (São Paulo, 21 March), a 5.46 Pole Vault by João Gabriel Souza (São Paulo, 28 March), 11.47/1.0 at 100m by Lucimar de Moura (21 March), and 6.56/0.5 at Long Jump by Keila Costa (28 March).
Brazil will host three Area Permit meets in May. Fortaleza on 10 May, Rio de Janeiro on 17 May, and Uberlândia on 20 May are part of a 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.
These Area meets are followed by “Grande Prêmio Brasil Caixa de Atletismo” in Belém on 24 May, a Grand Prix status meeting as part of the IAAF World Athletics Tour 2009.
South American GP in Argentina
The 2009 South American Grand Prix began in Santiago de Chile on 14 March, where local Cristián Reyes won the 200m with 20.84 sec (wind 0.4m/s), and then continued in Argentina with four stops.
In Mar del Plata, on the first one, on 21-22 March, Brazilian Elisângela Adriano – South America’s record holder – produced the best performance with a 58.25 mark in Discus, followed by Argentina’s Rocío Comba (56.00).
Buenos Aires was the second stop, on 24 March, and Brazilian Vicente Lenílson de Lima won a competitive 100m race in 10.21 (wind 1.3), ahead of compatriots Bruno de Barros (10.24), José Carlos Moreira (10.28), and Argentina’s Matías Usandivaras (10.31).
Germán Chiaraviglio (ARG) took the Pole Vault with 5.45, Colombian Briggite Merlano the 100m hurdles (13.29/0.4), and Jennifer Dahlgren (ARG) the Hammer in 70.85. Dahlgren, the South American record holder with 72.94 (2007), had previously come very close of breaking her record twice in Buenos Aires with 72.79 (14 February) and 72.29 (28 February).
At Rosario, on 26 March, Argentina’s Jorge Balliengo won the Discus with 58.13, and Chile’s Ignacio Guerra took the Javelin with 77.09, ahead of Colombian Arley Ibargüen (76.08).
In the final stop, in Santa Fe (28-29 March), South American record holder Juan Ignacio Cerra (ARG) won the Hammer with 70.63, ahead of Chilean Patricio Palma, who set a NR of 68.96. Colombian Eli Johana Moreno beat Dahlgren 68.90 to 64.91, setting a new NR.
The next two stops of the Prix will be in Uruguay, in San Carlos, on 16 April, and Montevideo, on 18-19 April.
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF