Fabiana Murer of Brazil celebrates victory in the women's pole vault final during day four (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Guadalajara, Mexico

Nine Daegu medallists to take centre stage in Guadalajara - Pan American Games PREVIEW

Headed by Brazil’s Fabiana Murer, nine individual World Championships medallists from Daegu 2011 will take centre stage in the athletics tournament of the 16th Pan American Games, starting on Sunday (23) at the brand new 8500-capacity Telmex Stadium in Guadalajara.


Eight days after the opening of the quadrennial event, over 660 athletes from 39 National Olympic Committees will highlight the final week (Oct 23-30) of the most important multisport event of the region, also known as “the Olympics of the Americas”.


Murer is the only Daegu World champion who has made the trip to the Mexican city, hoping to renew her Pole Vault title won in Rio 2007.


“I am motivated. I took two weeks of rest after Daegu. I did little physical activity but I was more active in the second, but without the poles,” Murer told the Brazilian press before flying to Guadalajara on Friday (21).


With USA’s 2008 Olympic Games silver medallist and 2008 World Indoor silver medalist Jenn Suhr a last-minute absentee, Brazil’s first ever outdoor World champion should face her toughest challenge from Cuba’s Yarisley Silva, improved her CAC record by 20cm to 4.70m to clinch the fifth place in the Korean city.


“I remember her (Silva) from the 2007 Pan American Games, when she finished third,” Murer recalled. Their rivalry could erase the Brazilian’s Games record of 4.60 from the previous edition.


Another interesting Brazil-Cuba duel is expected in the men’s Pole Vault, with Fabio Silva trying to defend his crown against Cuban sensation Lazaro Borges, who improved his national record by 18cm in the Daegu final to take a surprising silver. Borges wants to end his season on a high note, after failing to clear a height in 2007.


Other Daegu Winters coming to defend their 2007 titles are Canadian shot putter Dylan Armstrong and Cubans Yarelis Barrios (Discus) and Guillermo Martinez in the Javelin Throw.


Completing the medallists from Daegu are Leonel Suarez, hoping to improve his Decathlon fourth place in Rio against defending champion Maurice Smith of Jamaica; Colombian Luis Fernando Lopez goes against local favourite Eder Sanchez in the 20km walk; Colombian triple jumper Cathrine Ibarguen will meet Cuba’s two-time World gold medallist and defending Pan Am champion Yargelis Savigne.

In the sprints, St. Kitts’ 2003 World champion and 2011 bronze medallist Kim Collins is back to improve on his 5th place in Rio 2007. Cuba’s Olympic champion and World record holder Dayron Robles will line-up to defend his crown in the 110m Hurdles.


Other top names are the Bahamas’ 2010 World Indoor champion and 2007 Pan Am winner Chris Brown and 2007 World champion Dwight Thomas in the High Jump, Brazil’s Kleberson Davide in the 800m, 2008 Olympic champion and defending Pan Am gold medallist Maureen Higa Maggi in the Long Jump, as well as the Cuban duo Alexis Copello and Yoandri Betanzos in the Triple Jump.


In his fourth Pan American Games, Dominican Republic’s former Olympic and two-time World champion Felix Sanchez will try to regain the crown which he won at home in 2003.


In total, 18 athletes will defend their 2007 titles, including the decorated Cuban Yipsi Moreno, who is seeking her third consecutive gold. She was also second as a teenager in 1999.


Athletics kicks off on Sunday with the men’s and women’s 20km Race Walks, as well as the women’s Marathon, with Madai Perez looking to become the first Mexican woman to win the continental 42.195 gold in 20 years. 1999 Pan Am winner and record holder Erika Olivera of Chile is also on the starts list.


Held every four years since 1951, the Pan American Games are held for the third time its history in Mexico, but for the first time outside Mexico City. Nearly 6000 athletes will contest 361 events in 36 sports in seven cities in the western state of Jalisco, with the capital Guadalajara as the main venue, located 1556m above sea level.


Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF


The Pan American Games records in athletics are as follows:


Men

100m  10.06               Leandro Peñalver  CUB   1983

          10.06               Churandy Martina AHO   2007

200m  19.86               Donald Quarrie JAM     1971

400m  44.45               Ronald Ray USA     1975

800m  1.44.58           Yeimer Lopez CUB   2007

1500m 3.36.32           Hudson Santos de Souza  BRA     2007

5000m 13.25.60       Ed Moran USA     2007

10000m 28.08.74     José David Galvan MEX   2007

Marathon 2:12:43     Jorge Gonzalez PUR   1983

110m H 13.17           Anier Garcia Ortiz CUB   1999

400m H 48.18           Félix Sanchez DOM   2003

3000m ST 8:14.41     Wander do Prado Moura BRA     1995

HJ       2.40                 Javier Sotomayor CUB   1995

PV       5.75                 Patrick Manson USA     1995

LJ         8.75                 Carl Lewis USA     1987

TJ         17.89               João Carlos de Oliveira BRA     1975

SP       20.95               Reese Hoffa  USA     2003  

DT       67.32               Luis Mariano Delis CUB   1983

JT         81.72               Emeterio Gonzalez CUB   2003

HT       79.61               Lance E. Deal USA     1999

20km W 1:20:17       Bernardo Segura MEX   1999

50km W 3:47:55       Carlos Mercenario MEX   1995

Decathlon 8272       Maurice Smith JAM     2007

4x100m 38.17           Brazil 1999

4x400m 2.57.97         Jamaica  1999


Women

100m  11.02               Mikele Barber USA     2007

200m  22.45               Evelyn Ashford  USA     1979

400m  49.61               Ana Fidelia Quirot CUB   1991

800m  1:58.71           Ana Fidelia Quirot CUB   1991

1500m 4:05.7             Mary Decker USA     1979

5000m 15:30.65       Adriana Fernandez MEX   2003

10000m 32.54.11     Sara Slattery USA     2007

Marathon 2:37:41     Erika Olivera CHI     1999

100m H 12.65           Delorren Ennis–London  JAM     2007

              12.65           Perdita Felicien CAN   2007

400m H   53.44         Daimi Pernia CUB   1999

3000m ST 9.51.13     Sabine Leticia Heitling  BRA     2007

HJ       1.95                 Colleen Sommer USA     1987

LJ         7.45                 Jackie Joyner  USA     1987

TJ     14.83                 Yargeris Savagne  CUB   2007

PV       4.60                 Fabiana Murer  BRA     2007

SP     19.34                 Maria Elena Sarria  CUB   1983

DT       65.58               Maritza Marten  CUB   1987

JT         65.85               Osleidys Menendez  CUB   1999

HT       75.20               Yipsi Moreno  CUB   2007

Heptathlon 6290       Magaly Garcia CUB   1999

20km W 1:34:19       Graciela Mendoza MEX   1999

4x100m 42.62           Jamaica 1999

4x400m 3:23.35         USA 1987


For full athletics results