Colombia captured three victories and emerged as the top nation of the 2012 South American Race Walking Championships, which were held at Salinas, an Ecuadoran coastal city about 120km west of Guayaquil, on 17-18 March.
Individually, the best performance came from the 18-year-old Colombian Sandra Arenas, who won the junior 10km race in 45:17, setting a new South American record. The previous mark belonged to Ecuadorian Miriam Ramón since 1989 (46:16).
Arenas, the 2011 South American junior champion at 10,000m, also improved hugely her personal best of 47:22.68, set in 2011 in Medellín. Bolivians Ángela Castro (national junior record of 47:00) and Wendy Cornejo (personal best of 47:01) completed the podium.
Brazilians Caio Bonfim and Érica de Sena captured victories at the 20km races. Twenty-one year-old Bonfim equaled his road personal best with a 1:23:59 clock, to beat Colombian James Rendón (1:24:06) and another Brazilian, Moacir Zimmermann (1:24:34). “This was an important victory for my, as it was my second in the adult category,” said Bonfim. “Now I need to reach the qualifying time for the London Olympic Games,” he added.
Érica de Sena won the women’s 20km race, but not the Championships, since she was taking part as an extra competitor, not included in the official Brazilian delegation. The 26-year-old from Pernambuco (who resides in Guayaquil) clocked 1:33:24, missing Tânia Spindler’s national record by 1 second. The actual South American champion was Colombian Arabelly Orjuela, who also set a personal best with 1:34:41, followed by the 2011 South American track champion, Colombian Ingrid Hernández (1:34:56), and by Venezuelan Milánggela Rosales (1:36:45).
In the other race of Olympic distance, Brazilian Mário José dos Santos won the 50km event – held on the warm Sunday morning – in 4:12:52, ahead of Ecuadorian Jonathan Cáceres (4:14:45).
In the remaining events for younger categories, Colombian Eider Arévalo, the 2010 World Cup winner, grabbed the victory at the junior 10km in 43:25. While in the youth events, Peruvian Paolo César Yurivilca (45:00 at 10km) and Ecuadorian Karla Jaramillo (24:49) obtained the titles.
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF
Leading Results -
2012 South American Race Walking Championships
Salinas, Ecuador – 17-18 March
1 Caio Bonfim BRA 1:23:59
2 James Rendón COL 1:24:06
3 Moacir Zimmermann BRA 1:24:34
4 Rolando Saquipay ECU 1:26:57
5 José Leonardo Montaña COL 1:27:46
1 Mário José dos Santos BRA 4:12:52
2 Jonathan Cáceres ECU 4:14:45
3 Edgar Cudco ECU 4:22:44
Junior – 10km (18)
1 Eider Arévalo COL 43:25
2 Kenny Martín Pérez COL 43:39
3 Manuel Soto COL 43:43
Youth – 10km (17)
1 Paolo César Yurivilca PER 45:00
2 Daniel Pintado ECU 45:24
3 Franco Chocho ECU 48:11
1 Arabelly Orjuela COL 1:34:41
2 Ingrid Hernández COL 1:34:56
3 Milánggela Rosales VEN 1:36:45
4 Claudia Balderrama BOL 1:36:46
5 Yadira Guamán ECU 1:38:20
Extra: Érica de Sena BRA 1:33:24
Junior – 10Km (17)
1 Sandra Arenas COL 45:17 AR-y
2 Ángela Castro BOL 47:00
3 Wendy Cornejo BOL 47:01
Youth – 5km (18)
1 Karla Jaramillo ECU 24:49
2 Lina Paola Abril COL 24:57
3 Michelli Semblantes ECU 25:03