Day four of the Athletics at the XV PanAmerican Games was a very exciting one at the track of the “Estádio João Havelange” of Rio de Janeiro, and it was highlighted by the narrow victory of Jamaican Deloreen Ennis-London over Canadian Perdita Felicien in the women’s 100m Hurdles.
The photo-finish was needed to decide who the winner was. The time for both athletes was 12.65 (wind nil). Felicien was charged with a false start and then as a result had problems at the restart, which Ennis-London clearly took advantage of. The Jamaican dominated the early stages but Felicien found her rhythm in the second part of the race and almost equalled her at the finish line. The winning time beat the Games record which was 12.66. Angela Whyte also from Canada finished third with 12.72.
Zelinka and Stacey bring gold to Canada
In the Heptathlon, 25 year-old Jessica Zelinka from London, Ontario, won with 6136 points. After a very good first day ended with 3786 points Zelinka struggled in the Long Jump where she only managed 5.70m. That performance put to bed any expectations she might have had of improving the Games and her own national record. Yet, after a 43.67 mark in the Javelin the Canadian went for the victory in the final event, the 800m. Just before the half way mark Zelinka suffered a cramp but she was still able to cross the finish line in 2:17.86.
Cuban Gretchen Quintana second with 6000 points got close to Zelinka after a 6.24m Long Jump but then lost all her chances with 35.79m in the Javelin. Lucimara da Silva from Brazil completed the podium line-up with 5873 points.
In the Hammer Throw, 23 year-old James Stacey gave Canada an unexpected gold with his 73.77 mark from the second round. American Kibwe Johnson got the silver medal with his final throw of 73.23 which displaced Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Cerra’s 72.12 to the bronze spot.
Cerra, the defending champion, earned his third medal at the Games to become his country’s second most successful male athlete at these games, after distance runner Osvaldo Suárez who won 6 medals (4 gold, 2 silver) in the 50’s and 60’s.
American A.G. Kruger finished fourth with a disappointing 68.71, nearly 10m shy of his winning throw at the US National Championships.
Guevara and Brown dominate the 400s
Mexican Ana Gabriela Guevara won her third consecutive title at 400m with a time of 50.34 seconds. It was a clear victory for the 2003 World champion, who said afterwards “I am very pleased with the result after everything that was said, because it really expresses what I am made of. After an 11 year career I would never risk the prestige of my country…some people thought that I was finished and it was impossible for me to get a place on the podium… I believe that was very disrespectful…”
The 50.34 time run by Guevara was a season’s best. Christine Amertil of the Bahamas was second with a time of 50.99, and Cuban Indira Terrero was third in 51.09.
In the 400m men’s final Bahamian Chris Brown clocked a season’s best time of 44.85 to beat the 2005 World Championship bronze medallist Tyler Christopher of Canada. Christopher claimed he could not hear the gun due to crowd noise – causing him a slow start. The Canadian tried to make up the lost time but Brown ran a very consistent race to become the Bahamas’ first male athletics champion in the history of the Games. Christopher took silver in 45.05 with Dominica Chris Lloyd crossing the line third in a time of 45.40
In the women’s 400m Hurdles, American Sheena Johnson confirmed her position as pre race favourite by taking the race in 54.64 to beat Jamaican Nickiesha Wilson who ran 54.94, a PB. The other American entrant Nicole Leach completed the podium with a time of 54.97.
In the women’s High Jump Mexican María Romary Rifka won the title with a 1.95m jump, same height as second placed Jamaican Nicole Forrester. Rifka cleared the winning height on her first attempt while Forrester managed it on her second. The 34-year-old Mexican becomes the first athlete from her country to win a field event at the Games. Laverne Spencer from St. Lucia took the bronze jumping 1.87.
Maggi and de Sousa prompt ‘festa brasileira’
31 year-old Brazilian Maurren Maggi triumphed at the Long Jump with 6.84 (wind nil). Her series of jumps was; 6.69, 6.84, foul, foul, 6.76, 6.76. Her compatriot Keila Costa completed a 1-2 for the host country with her 6.73 mark (-0.2) from the third round. Cuba’s Yargelis Savigne produced a sb of 6.66 (wind nil) to capture the bronze.
30 year-old Hudson de Sousa was victorious in the 1500m with a Games record and SB of 3:36.32. With the win, de Sousa becomes the first man to win the 1500m crown in consecutive Games.
Cuba’s Mauris Castillo set the early pace with 58.11 and 1:57.67 at 400 and 800m. After that point, de Sousa took control of the race and never looked back. He crossed the 1200m mark in 2:55.50, and won in a remarkable show of dominance over a fast field - 7 of the top 9 finishers bettered their pb’s. Mexican Juan Luis Barrios finished second with 3:37.71 just 10/100 off the Mexican National record. Ecuador’s Byron Piedra was third in 3:37.88 – also a national record, while Argentina’s Javier Carriqueo bettered his country’s 23 year-old NR with 3:38.62.
Day-off to rest
Thursday will be a recess day for athletics at the Games and Friday shall witness both 200m finals amongst other events.
In the men’s 200m, Brendan Christian of Antigua, third at 100m, produced the best result of the semifinal round with 20.33 while on the women’s side Grenada’s Sherry Fletcher was the fastest with 22.86.
Another final to be contested on Friday will be the 400m Hurdles – with American Laron Bennett holding the best semi-final time with 49.09. Former two-time World champion and reigning Olympic champion Felix Sanchez (DOM) won heat one with 49.42 and will look to defend his 2003 title.
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF
Results – Day 4
1 Chris Brown BAH 44.85
2 Tyler Christopher CAN 45.05
3 Chris Lloyd DMA 45.40
4 William Collazo CUB 45.45
5 Alleyne Francique GRN 45.49
6 Avard Moncur BAH 45.51
7 Jamaal Torrance USA 46.05
Lionel Larry USA dnf
1 Hudson de Souza BRA 3:36.32 *
2 Juan Luis Barrios MEX 3:37.71
3 Byron Piedra ECU 3:37.88 NR
4 Javier Carriqueo ARG 3:38.62 NR
5 Fabiano Peçanha BRA 3:39.58
6 Eduar Villanueva VEN 3:41.74
7 Nico Herrera VEN 3:42.18
8 Luis Soto PUR 3:42.29
1 James Steacy CAN 73.77
2 Kibwe Johnson USA 73.23
3 Juan Ignacio Cerra ARG 72.12
4 A.G. Kruger USA 68.71
5 Patricio Palma CHI 67.86 NR
6 Noleysis Bicet CUB 67.51
7 Wágner Domingos BRA 65.27
8 Aldo Bello VEN 63.98
1 Ana Gabriela Guevara MEX 50.34
2 Christine Amertil BAH 50.99
3 Indira Terrero CUB 51.09
4 Shereefa Lloyd JAM 51.19
5 Davita Prendergast JAM 51.90
6 Monique Henderson USA 52.28
7 Laverne Jones ISV 52.97
8 Debbie Dunn USA 52.97
100m Hurdles (0.0)
1 Deloreen Ennis-London 12.65 *
2 Perdita Felicien CAN 12.65
3 Angela Whyte CAN 12.72
4 Vonette Dixon JAM 12.86
5 Anay Tejeda CUB 12.95
6 Jenny Adams USA 13.15
7 Nadine Faustin-Parker HAI 13.26
8 Yvette Lewis USA 13.69
1 Sheena Johnson USA 54.64
2 Nickiesha Wilson JAM 54.94
3 Nicole Leach USA 54.97
4 Shevon Stewart JAM 55.42
5 Andrea Blackett BAR 56.02
6 Lucimar Teodoro BRA 56.58
7 Jeneil Bellille TRI 57.42
8 Daimí Pernía CUB 59.71
1 María Romary Rifka MEX 1.95
2 Nicole Forrester CAN 1.95
3 Levern Spencer LCA 1.87
4 Caterine Ibargüen COL
5 Eliana Renata da Silva BRA 1.84
6= Juana Rosario Arrendel & Sharon Day USA 1.81
8 Solange Witteveen ARG 1.81
1 Maurren Maggi BRA 6.84/0.0
2 Keila Costa BRA 6.73/-0.2
3 Yargelis Savigne CUB 6.66/0.0
4 Elva Goulbourne JAM 6.48/-0.5
5 Rhonda Watkins TRI 6.42/0.3
6 Jackie Edwards BAH 6.37/-0.4
7 Shameka Marshall USA 6.25/0.0
8 Arantxa King BER 6.18/-0.2
1 Jessica Zelinka CAN 6136 [13.26/-0.4 1.71 14.97 24.07/-0.4 (3786/1) 5.70/0.5 43.67 2:17.86]
2 Gretchen Quintana CUB 6000 [13.83/-0.4 1.71 13.04 23.90/-0.4 (3590/2) 6.24/0.0 35.79 2:14.53]
3 Lucimara da Silva BRA 5873 [13.64/-0.4 1.74 10.92 24.76/-0.4 (3432/6) 6.03/-0.3 44.78 2:20.01]
4 Yasmiany Pedroso CUB 5692
5 Virginia Johnson USA 5619
6 Elizete da Silva BRA 5564
7 Yaritza Rivera PUR 5517
8 Daniela Crespo ARG 4951
* Games record