Santo Domingo, Dominican RepublicGermaine Mason, Brigitte Foster and the men’s 4x400 metres Relay team provided a golden day for Jamaica but the USA dominated the medal tally, as the athletics tournament of the Pan American Games ended in Santo Domingo’s Juan Pablo Duarte Stadium.
Jamaica won a total of six medals on the final day of athletics, which saw Dominican Republic’s Felix Sanchez and Mexico’s Ana Guevara lead their respective countries to national records in the 4x400 metres Relays.
Foster, the season’s fastest 100 metres Hurdler with 12.45, started as the no.1 favourite to win gold after breaking the Games record with 12.66 in Friday’s first semi-final. However, she had a slow start - sixth off the blocks - and had to sharpen her technique to secure the gold, defeating early leader Perdita Felicien of Canada. The Olympic finalist clocked 12.67 to the Canadian’s 12.70. Another Jamaican, Lacena Golding-Clarke, grabbed the bronze with 12.79.
Travelling to the championships from a recent win the DN Galan meeting in Stockholm (Aug 5) like Foster, Germaine Mason confirmed his consistency in the men’s High Jump and equalled his personal best/national record of 2.34 to reach the highest position on the podium.
The 20-year old, third in the 2002 World Junior Championships, won Jamaica’s first men’s Pan Am title in the jumps. His compatriot Diane Guthrie had claimed the only crown for the country in the jumps when winning the Long Jump in Havana 1991.
Michael Campbell, Sanjay Ayre, Lansford Spence and Davian Clarke combined their efforts to maintain Jamaica’s supremacy in the 4x400m Relay with 3:01.83, only 0.04 faster than the USA. Clarke, last in the 400m final, clocked a sub-45 leg to overhaul USA’s Brandon Couts in the final 20 metres.
Supported by some 15,000 fans, Felix Sanchez ran a superb final leg to give bronze to the host country, improving the national record from 3:04.15 to 3:02.02. Arismendy Peguero, Carlos Santa and Julio Vidal completed the quartet.
“I have run in many stadiums around the world and I never saw a whole crowd supporting me. If I am given the opportunity, I would love to return to my country and support athletics in the Dominican Republic. Racing in front of your own crowd is better than competing everywhere else”, said the 25-year old USA-based athlete.
In the women’s 4x400m Relay, the US team of Moushaumi Robinson, Melisa Barber, Julian Clay De'Hashia Trotter crossed the finish line first in 3:26.41, ahead of Jamaica (3:27.34) and Brazil (3:28.07), who broke its own Area record of 3:28.64, set in the South American Championships in Barquisimeto on June 22.
Ana Guevara received the baton in the fifth position, more than 10 metres behind USA, Jamaica, Brazil and Cuba. She ran the fastest split of the final, but could not beat Brazil’s Lucimar Teodoro, so Mexico, who finished fourth with a new national record of 3:28.23, erased the old national mark (3:31.24), set last December in the Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador.
Cuban-born Liliana Allen, third in the 100m, Gabriela Medina, Mayra Gonzalez and Guevara formed the team.
“We did our best and a fourth place is excellent. Of course we wanted to be on the podium, but we ran against really good teams and our time shows we have improved substantially and that we can still perform better”, Guevara commented.
The world’s No.1 400m runner thanked the Dominicans for their love and support. I am returning very happy and what else can I ask for? My heart goes to the Dominicans, who treated me like a local”, she concluded.
The USA dominated both the men’s and women’s 4x100 relays with respective times of 38.27 and 43.06. Four-time Olympic medallist Ato Boldon and 2002 World Junior champion Darrel Brown ran the third and fourth legs of the Trinitarian squad, who won the bronze medal.
After below par results, Brazil had an excellent final day with three gold medals. Two were won by Vanderlei de Lima and Marcia Narloch in the Marathon, while Hudson de Souza showed to be the fastest in an overall slow men’s 1500m final and added a second title, following his win over 5000m on Monday.
Cuba’s triple jumper Yoandri Betanzos prevented his compatriot Yoelbi Quesada from becoming the first athlete to claim four consecutive Pan Am titles. Betanzos, runner-up in the 2000 World Junior Championships, produced a 17.26m leap in the fifth round to obtain his first major senior result. He defeated Brazil’s early leader Jadel Gregorio (17.03) and Quesada (16.78).
“Of course I wanted to win, but we have a young generation of triple jumpers and the most important thing is that the gold stays in Cuba”, Quesada said.
His countryman Yunier Hernandez compensated for Olympic champion Anier Garcia’s absence in the 110m Hurdles final due to an injury. Larry Wade of the US was initially declared the winner with 13.34, but officials realized later in the photo finish that Hernandez had crossed the finish line first. Both were given the same time: 10.21.
USA’s Melissa Muller provided the only Games record on Saturday, when clearing 4.40 to win the Pole Vault contest. Muller erased the previous standard (4.30), set by Argentina’s Alejandra Garcia in Winnipeg 1999. Chile’s Carolina Torres improved her own national record to 4.30 and it finished second.
A total of seven Games records fell during the five-day competition, with the women’s Hammer and the Men’s javelin producing the most notable progress. Only eight defended their 1999 wins successfully: Cuba’s Ivan Pedroso (Long Jump) and Emeterio Gonzalez (Javelin Throw), Mexico’s Ana Guevara (400m) and Adriana Fernandez (5000m), Surinam’s Letitia Vriesde (800m), Brazil’s Vanderlei Lima (marathon), USA’s Aretha Hill (Discus) and the Jamaican men’s 4x400 metres team.
Compared to Winnipeg 1999, 19 of the 46 contested events - 11 female and eight male - provided better results than four years ago.
Represented by the largest team (99 athletes registered) in Santo Domingo, the USA consolidated its supremacy in the continent with 36 medals (15-10-11=36), followed by Cuba (9-11-9), Mexico (6-5-2), Brazil (4-6-4), Canada (3-4-2), Jamaica (3-3-4), the Dominican Republic (2-0-2), Venezuela (1-0-1), Ecuador, Argentina and Surinam, with one title each. A record of 22 of the 42 participating countries won at least one medal, confirming athletics as the king of sports.
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF
Here are all medallists on the last day of athletics and the list of all the 2003 Pan American champions:
1. Hudson de Souza (BRA) 3:45.72
2. Michael Stember (USA) 3:46.31
3. Grant Robinson (USA) 3:46.68
1. Vanderlei Lima (BRA) 2:19:08
2. Bruce Deacon (CAN) 2:20.35
3. Diego Colorado (COL) 2:21.48.
1. Yunier Hernández (CUB) 13.35
2. Larry Wade (USA) 13.35
3. Marcio de Souza (BRA) 13.45
1. Germaine Mason (JAM) 2.32
2. Jaime Nieto (USA) 2.28
3. Terrance Woods (USA) 2.22
1. Yoandry Betanzos (CUB) 17.26
2. Jadel Gregório (BRA) 17.03
3. Yoelbi Quesada (CUB) 16.78
1. USA 38.27
2. Brazil 38.44
3. Trinidad & Tobago 38.53
1. Jamaica 3:01.81
2. USA 3:01.87
3. Dominican Republic 3:02.02
1. Marcia Narloch (BRA) 2:39:54
2. Mariela Gonzalez (CUB) 2:42.55
3. Erika Olivera (CHI) 2:44.52)
1. Brigitte Foster (JAM) 12.67
2. Perdita Felicien (CAN) 12.70
3. Lacena Golding-Clarke (JAM) 12.79
1. Melissa Mueller (USA) 4.40 CR
2. Carolina Torres (CHI) 4.30
3. Stephanie McCann (CAN) 4.20
1. USA (Ara Towns, Consuella Moore, Allison Felix, Angela Daigle) 43.06
2. Cuba 43.40
3. Jamaica 43.71
1. USA (Melissa Barber, Julian Clay, Moushaumi Robinson, Dehashia Trotter) 3:26.40
2. Jamaica 3:27.34
3. Brazil 3:28.07
Pan American champions:
100m: Mickey Grimes (USA) 10.10
200m: Kenny Brokenburr (USA) 20.42
400m: Mitchell Potter (USA) 45.11
800m: Achraf Tadili (CAN) 1:45.05 CR
1500m: Hudson de Souza 3:45.72
5000m: Hudson de Souza (BRA) 13:50.71
10,000m: Teodoro Vega (MEX) 28:49.38
Marathon: Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima (BRA) 2:19.08
110m H: Yuniel Hernandez (CUB) 13.35
400m H: Félix Sánchez (DOM) 48.19 CR
3000m ST: Nestor Nieves (VEN) 8:34.26
HJ: Germaine Mason (JAM) 2.32
PV: Toby Stevenson (USA) 5.45
LJ: Ivan Pedroso (CUB) 8.23
TJ: Yoandri Betanzos (CUB) 17.26
SP: Reese Hoffa (USA) 20.95 CR
DT: Jason Tunks (CAN) 63.70
HT: Juan I. Cerra (ARG) 75.53
JT: Emeterio González (CUB) 81.72 CR
Dec: Stephen Moore (USA ) 7809
20km W: Jefferson Perez (ECU) 1:23:06
50km W: Germán Sánchez (MEX) 4:05:18
Rel 4x100: USA 38.27
Rel 4x400: Jamaica 3:01.81
100m: Lauryn Williams (USA) 11.12
200m: Roxana Díaz (CUB) 22.69
400m: Ana Guevara (MEX) 50.36
800m: Adriana Muñoz (CUB) 2:02.96
1500m: Adriana Muñoz (CUB) 4:09.57
5000m: Adriana Fernández (MEX) 15:30.65 CR
10,000m: Adriana Fernández (MEX) 33:16.05
Marathon: Marcia Narloch (BRA) 2:39.54
100m H: Brigitte Foster (JAM) 12.67 (12.66 CR in SF)
400m H: Joanna Hayles (USA) 54.77
HJ: Juana Rosario Arrendel (DOM) 1.94
PV:Melissa Mueller (USA) 4.40 CR
LJ: Alice Falaiye (CAN) 6.43
TJ: Mabel Gay (CUB) 14.42
SP: Yumileidi Cumba (CUB) 19.31
DT: Aretha Hill (USA) 63.30
HT: Yipsi Moreno (CUB) 74.25 CR
JT: Kim Kreiner (USA) 60.86
Hep: Tiffany Loft (USA) 6.064
Rel 4x100: USA 43.06
Rel 4x400: USA 3:26.40
CR- Games record
Letitia Vriesde (SUR) returned a positive finding for Caffeine and was disqualified in the 800m, giving the title to Cuba's Muñoz