Lela Nelson (USA) (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Helwick and Nelson take Pan American Combined Events Champs

Chris Helwick and Lela Nelson of the USA claimed the Decathlon and Heptathlon titles at the inaugural Pan American Combined Events Challenge, held over the weekend at the Felix Sanchez Olympic Stadium in Santo Domingo (31 May / 1 June).

A comfortable leader after the first day on Saturday, Nelson totalled 5944 points to improve from the third place in the previous edition.

The 25-year old sealed her lead in the Long Jump, her specialist event, to win the gold medal by 240 points.

A 6.78m Long Jumper, she contested the event at the 2008 World Indoor Championships in Valencia. Nelson has a Heptathlon best of 6022 from 2007.

Her countrywoman Ryanne Dupree (5704) and Cuban Yasmiani Pedroso (5659) were a distant second and third, respectively.

Seventh on Saturday over 200 points behind Canada's overnight leader Jamie Adjetey, Helwick produced a solid second day, including 4.80m in the Pole Vault, to improve his three-year old personal best with a 7,820 total.

Eighth at the 2004 World Junior Championships, Helwick secured the victory only in the 1500m with after a 4:22-minute effort, seven seconds faster than runner-up Ivan Da Silva of Brazil (7783).

Chris Randolph of the USA completed the trio of medallists with 7747, while Adjetey faded in the 1500m and had to settle in fifth with 7728.

USA's Ryan Harlan and Cuba's Gretchen Quintana, the 2007 winners, did not attend.

The Pan American Combined Events Championships is an evolution of the NACAC event, held annually since 2005, and part of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge.

Twenty men and 20 women from a record 15 countries attended the inaugural continental championships.

Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF

Here are the top results:
 
Decathlon
1. Chris Helwick USA  7820   
(11.21w, 7.20w, 13.49, 1.97, 50.35/15.12, 43.26, 4.80, 54.98, 4:22.0)
2. Ivan Da Silva BRA 7783   
(11.15, 7.21, 13.45, 1.97, 50.43/14.81, 40.45, 4.70, 58.25, 4:29.0)
3. Chris Randolph USA 7747   
(11.26, 7.06, 14.00, 1.97, 49.44/15.48, 42.54, 4.60, 58.83, 4:28.0)
4.  Luiz Cardoso BRA   7733
(10.66, 7.38, 13.49, 1.88, 49.54/14.30, 41.81, 4.20, 52.23, 4:32.0)
5. Jamie Adjetey  CAN 7728
(10.70, 7.65, 14.12, 1.91, 50.09/14.97, 41.17, 4.40, 56.87, 4:53.0)
6. Chris Boyles         USA 7650   
(11.26, 7.33, 14.81, 1.94, 51.02/14.87, 43.63, 4.40, 59.21, 4:53.0)
7.  Ordilei Pessoni     BRA 7568   
(10.83, 6.61, 14.46, 1.94, 49.85/15.06, 45.76, 4.40, 57.24, 4:58.0)
8. Andres Mantilla COL  7340
(11.01, 6.85, 13.22, 2.00, 52.50/14.75, 42.21, 4.30, 52.17, 4:52.0)
 
Heptathlon
1. Lela Nelson USA 5944
(13.65w, 1.76, 12.22, 24.47/6.45, 36.58, 2:23.02)
2 Ryanne Dupree  USA  5704          
(13.46w, 1.70, 12.22, 24.88/6.09, 37.33, 2:27.35)
3. Yasmiani Pedroso CUB 5659
(13.99w, 1.76, 13.28, 25.79/5.61, 43.82, 2:28.20)
4. Ashley Wilhelm  USA 5598
(14.46w, 1.73, 11.93, 25.19/6.16, 37.95, 2:26.24)
5. Thaimara Rivas VEN 5554
(14.38, 1.64, 12.46, 25.78/5.94, 42.19, 2:21.97)
6. Elizete DA Silva  BRA   5493     
(14.49, 1.64, 12.88, 25.32/5.94, 37.96, 2:24.43)
7 Toni Ann Doyley   JAM    5332
(13.40w, 1.61, 13.11, 24.73/5.98, 25.88, 2:35.08)
8. Francia Manzanillo DOM 5241
(14.35, 1.55, 11.90, 25.54/5.37, 39.40, 2:20.05)