The month of May will be an intense one for athletics in Brazil, and will also mark the return of one of the most classic South American venues – São Paulo – to the calendar with an Area Permit meet, also part of the South American GP, which will take place on Sunday 4 May.
Later, on 25 May, Belém will host the “Grande Prêmio Brasil/Caixa de Atletimo”, which is part of the IAAF World Athletics Tour. São Paulo had been the venue of the “Grande Prêmio” for more than a decade until 1995.
For the São Paulo meet, the organizers have confirmed the presence of American Kim Kreiner (Javelin), who last 16 May 2007 in the Brazilian meet of Fortaleza, set the current national US record of 64.19m. That mark left her in the 8th spot of the 2007 World Lists.
The 30 year-old American could not compete at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka due to an arm injury which required surgery.
Along with Kreiner, the Javelin will feature the best South American specialists, including the 2007 Area Champion, Brazilian Alessandra Resende.
Another international attraction will be Canadian Angela Whyte, 100m Hurdles finalist in Osaka, and bronze medallist at the 2007 Rio de Janeiro Pan-American Games. The 27 year-old Whyte has a PB of 12.63, set last year.
Along with Whyte, the 100m Hurdles will feature American Sheena Johnson-Tosta in its lineup. Johnson-Tosta is a 400m Hurdles specialist, and semifinalist in Osaka. She will run the latter event in Belém, but for São Paulo, and the South American GP of Uberlândia (11 May), she will compete in the 100m Hurdles, where she holds a 12.75 PB (2004).
Featured in the 400m will be Bahamian Michael Mathieu, a member of the 4x400m relay team that took the silver medal in Osaka. Mathieu (24) holds a PB of 45.22 (2007).
Among the local athletes who have been confirmed are: Maurren Maggi (Long Jump), Elisângela Adriano (Discus), Fábio Gomes da Silva (Pole Vault) and Keila Costa (Long Jump).
The lineup of Brazilian meets starts in São Paulo (4 May), continues in Uberlândia (11 May), Rio de Janeiro (18 May), Fortaleza (21 May), and ends at the IAAF World Tour event of Belém (25 May).
World Triple Jump leading mark for Gisele de Oliveira
Brazilian Gisele Lima de Oliveira, the 2005 NCAA Indoor Champion, and outdoor runner-up while at Clemson University, set the 2008 outdoor World Leading mark in Triple Jump, while reaching 14.28m (wind -0.9 m/s) in São Paulo, at a local meet on 16 April.
The 27-year-old from the State of Rio Grande do Sul became the third Brazilian track-and-field athlete to obtain an “A” Olympic qualifying standard in 2008. De Oliveira had a series with jumps of 14.00, 14.02 and 14.05, before her fourth attempt of 14.28. Previously, on 29 March, also in São Paulo, she had jumped a wind aided 14.13 (2.5 m/s) and a legal 13.99 (1.0), a PB until that moment.
On 9 April de Oliveira also showed progress in the Long Jump, setting a PB of 6.37 (0.2 m/s).
After being injured for much of 2007, and making the transition to train in São Paulo under the guidance of Nélio Moura – the coach of Maurren Maggi, Keila Costa and World Champion Irving Saladino – de Oliveira is finally reaching the performances she projected as a junior athlete, where she had PBs of 6.22 and 13.34.
De Oliveira is also the third Brazilian with an “A” standard in the Triple (14.20). In 2007, Keila Costa (14.57) and Maurren Maggi (14.44) both reached the qualifying mark for Beijing 2008, and now, according to the rules set by the Brazilian Confederation, they both need to – at the least – ratify the marks by jumping further than the “B” standard (14.00) this season.
The other track and field Brazilian athletes who have obtained “A” standards in 2008 are Bruno de Barros, who ran 20.47 at 200m (São Paulo, 23 February) and Sandro Viana, who ran 10.19 at 100m (São Paulo, 26 March).
Among those who have also reached B standards is Lucimara da Silva at the Heptathlon. The 2007 Pan-American bronze medalist set a PB of 5906 points in Rio de Janeiro (12-13 April). Chasing the almost-25-year-old South American record, which belongs to Maria da Conceição Geremias (6017 points), da Silva set a LJ PB of 6.26m.
Other South American athletes who have obtained an Olympic standards in 2008 are Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Cerra (74.09 in HT; Santa Fe, 29 March), Germán Lauro (19.88 NR in SP; Porto Alegre 25 February), and Pablo Pietrobelli (78.52 in JT: 27 March, San Fernando, Chile).
Other qualifiers from Chile are Ignacio Guerra (78.54 in JT; 29 March, Valdivia), Gonzalo Barroilhet (7828 in Decathlon; 3 April, Austin, Texas) and Natalia Ducó (17.62 in SP; Havana, 22 February). Guerra, Barroilhet and Ducó’s marks are new NR’s, while Ducó’s is also a new South American Junior top mark.
The South American athletes who have obtained A standards in Road Running and Race Walking events during 2008 are: Brazilians Franck Caldeira de Almeida (2:12:32), José Telles de Souza (2:13:09) and Cosme de Souza (2:13:50) in the Marathon.
The Race Walkers are: Rolando Saquipay (ECU; 1:20:52), Jefferson Pérez (ECU; 1:21:21), Luis Fernando López (COL; 1:22:35), Gustavo Restrepo (COL; 1:22:43) and José Alessandro Bagio (BRA; 1:22:56).
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF